The Ho Chi Minh Trail
The Steel Tiger –
10 Day Off Road Motorcycle Adventure Tour
The Ho Chi Minh Trail was used by the North Vietnamese Army to transport reinforcements and supplies into South Vietnam. Operation Steel Tiger was the bombardment of the Trail and other areas of Lao by B52 bombers between April 1965 and November 1968. That bombardment was intended to stop reinforcements and supplies, but it failed. Along this route you see evidence of that struggle. This tour takes you to the border areas of Southern Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, then up through the Annamite mountain range to ride the Trail network.
Honda CRF 250L
70% off Road
Day 1: Pakse to Attapue – 166KM Riding
Welcome to Laos, and our first day on the Trail together. We will take the old road to Attapue. A road recently affected by the collapse of Saddle Dam D, causing huge destruction and homelessness, good to see things getting rebuilt in the area, that always welcomes the motorcyclist. A good ride though, with locals very pleased to see you, the tourist, back to the area that was devastated. An area that was also a major part of the Trail network, and much used in the past. Overnight accommodation will be in a local guest house.
Day 2: Attapue to Dakchung – 174KM Riding
An early start as we ride out over more lovely countryside, with some magic Trails. This area was alive with Trails during the Vietnamese War, many of which you’ll see. Few travellers get this far off the beaten track, its a remote area with a big part to play in its day, this was a main part of the trail in dense forest and Jungle. We will overnight in a local guest house in Dakchung town.
Day 3: Dakchung to Ta-Oy – 200KM Riding
“Morning to you”, as we wake in this beautiful part of Southern Laos. After a local breakfast we gear up and head for Ta Oy. We have some way to go on the trail today, we have a choice of ways to go, some parts of the trail still show signs of the cobblestones intact after all these years, we can still find entertaining routes on this part of the trail. As evening comes we’ll get to Ta Oy, where we stay overnight in a local guest house.
Day 4: Ta-Oy to Xepon – 130KM Riding
A shorter day today that takes in two noticeable things. A great section of Trail, and a 300 meter Bamboo Bridge as we pass Muang Nong. After that it’s back to a section of road housing a part of the Trail that has been preserved for history. The rest of this trail has been paved which is a shame, they did however re-name the road, On arrival at Munag Dong we will visit the war museum, following which we’ll stay overnight in Xepon, a hot bed of activity during the War.
Day 5: Xepon to Vilabouly – 111KM Riding
As we have a short distance to ride today, we can take the afternoon for some rest or do some exploring, this whole area was one of the most significant areas of the trail, multiple chokes and route 912 over the Phu Laniche pass into Ban Laboy and the Ban Kari pass,rest or ride, we will over night in Vilabouly.
Day 6: Vilabouly to Ban Langkhang – 150KM Riding
After breakfast, it’s straight onto the Ho Chi MInh Trail, which we will ride most of the day. We detour to see the Xe Bang Fai River Cave, and then it’s back onto the Trail. We’ll ride to Bulapha, then onto the Mu Gai Pass, one of the main entry points to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, on arrival we can take the old trail up to the top of the pass We will overnight there in a local Guesthouse.
Day 7: Ban Langkhang to Muang Phine – 200KM Riding
It’s time to head south, back across the fords, and then back to Boualapha. From there, we’ll ride smaller trails through the countryside. Small villages are dotted around large paddy fields, surrounded by Limestone mountains. There are some really nice trails in this area, which is a very rural one. Our route will then take us to Muang Phine, where we’ll stay in a Guesthouse overnight.
Day 8: Muang Phine to Salavan – 144KM Riding
Another great day of riding today. We use Route 23 which was a major supply line in the Vietnam War. Evidence of which are destroyed bridges still lying in ruins along the whole length of the trail. There are some great forest sections to tackle, as well as some river crossings that will keep you cool. Altogether, a very interesting day. Towards its end we reach Salavan, and our Guesthouse for the night.
Day 9: Salavan to Pakxong – 152KM Riding
Following breakfast, we will head to the hills. That allows us to detour the mountains towards Xekong, before picking the main road into Pakxong. We will then stop ‘en route’ to see some sites, and enjoy the weather, Pakxong is famed for its cool weather! Arriving there in the early evening, we can relax in a cool atmosphere and enjoy the local hospitality.
Day 10: Pakxong to Pakse – 112KM Riding
Last day today, and mainly on Tarmac with some dirt trails in between. We will visit Tad Fane Falls on the way back to Pakse. Once in Pakse, it’s another sightseeing trip to Wat Phu, which is a stunning piece of Lao history. Finally, we will get back into town for our last evening together. Maybe we’ll make it one to remember.
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