Tales from The Ho Chi Minh Trail – Disappearing Trails Muang Nong-Ta Oy

Muang Nong to Ta Oy -Savannakhet

Location N16° 22.478′ E106° 29.869′

Updated April 2021

 

Through the O in Nong to Ta Oy

There are a few different ways of getting to Ta Oy from Muang Nong. The most popular is Via Ban Along over the 300 meter Bamboo bridge, the bridge is removed in the wet season and built again in the dry, you can cross for 20,000 kip. From Ban Along it used to be a pretty cool trail, lots of cobblestone patches, small river crossings, blown bridges and plenty of Jungle.

300 meter bamboo bridge at Ban Along still standing.
Fantastic bamboo bridge.

After you crossed the bridge It used to look like this….

The old French bridge crossing.
Old war scrap was taken away years ago.
Pretty cool river crossings are no longer.
Another Bamboo master piece.
Not hard to imagine. (Picture Tri Minh Dong)
Cobble stones, original Ho chi Minh Trail.

Now days it’s been upgraded, my last visit was just before Covid 19 came and spoilt the show. It was showing many signs of upgrades and a lot of land had been cleared either side of the trail to widen it. The old French bridge that was bombed has been reveled, just the concrete structures either side, the steel was taken a long time ago. There is a ford crossing further upstream.

Old bridge structure.
The new road did however uncover this, right next to the old trail , hidden by the jungle.

The other way to go is Muang Nong then Ban Poungnang, basically turn left at Nong onto the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This used to be a really small trail a long time ago, over the years they have been chipping away at, it’s looking like it will be finished soon.

The old trail was just wide enough for 4×4 in places.
It was a great trail once upon a time.
Holiday bungalows.

The road has been worked on for many years, landslides slowed things down and made it impassible to cars or trucks for a year or so, but now they have it upgraded 75% of the way. The old bamboo bridges will be replaced with new ones, as you can see their being built as we see. The villagers will miss this valuable income, and for sure we’re going to miss the bridges.

The Villagers made a bamboo track up the landslide.
It took us 4 hours to dig the truck out.
Way to hot for digging vehicles out.
More bamboo bridges.
Being built next to the bamboo bridges, the end is coming.
Looking South.
3 years ago, visibility was better than today.

 

Looking North.
April 2021 its a huge road now.
Makes things much faster, pity I’m not in a hurry.

Its still a great ride through some great countryside, there are some small trails left, not the kind of thing you want to do alone…..

 

Arrival in Ta Oy is always a quick affair, not much to do here, or see, keep riding.

 

Enjoy this post? Find the rest of our Ho Chi Minh Trail Tales here. Interested in riding in Laos, but looking for  more adventure and less history? Check out our Laos ADV Tours page.

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