Our 65 mile ride from Chiang Kham to the Riverside town of Chiang Khong was a straightforward blast up the main highway, sharing the wide shoulder with the odd moped. The traffic including freight trucks was fast but not too heavy; the noise got wearing after a while. However the bouganvillea plants flowering the length of the central reservation was pretty. The countryside is becoming evermore scenic as we head north, the hills of Thailand and Laos are covered in indigenous forests.
A temperature drop of about 10 degrees, together with a lot of cloud cover made the ride much more pleasurable and less tiring.
Chiang Khong is a sleepy border town directly across the Mekong River from Huay Xai; the Laos town from where we set off on our two day, slowboat, trip to Luang Prabang in 2014. We look right across to the little hotel we stayed in then from the balcony of our room in the best hotel we have stayed in. It has lovely staff, an infinity swimming pool and a comfortable bed!!
We are spending two nights here in Chiang Khong and have so far had a lovely day just mooching about on our bikes as far as the fourth ‘Friendship’ Bridge that link Thailand and Laos along their mutual Mekong border. The bridge was opened in late 2013 and has now replaced the ferry that operated from the heart of town. As the bridge is about 8km downstream, the town has suffered from reduced through traffic.
We are sharing supper tonight with Geoff, an Australian national living in Seattle, who we met whilst on our mooch about. He is traveling in the opposite direction to us, on his first solo cycle tour so there will be much to talk about.