Jan 15, 2010
Day 11, Jan 12, boun tai to phongsali
Another day of hard riding. But it was worth every km and every % of incline. First I checked out the ruins of the old French fort in boun tai.
It turned out it is dirt road all the way to ban yo resp. the remains of the old french cobbelstone road. Dirt road means half as slow as on a paved one. Anyway, it's winding its way up and down through a amazing landscape again, almost half of it is dense jungle. Partially it goes along the nam boun river.
Finally I reached pavement, what a pleasure after 100 km on dirt! Around 1.30 I arrived in boun neung where the road splits. The left fork another 80 km to china, the right fork to phonsali resp. ban hatsa. I turned right and very soon it went up, up, and more up through heavily forested area to an elevation of 1400m. And more or less that was the course for the next 35km. For the most part one travels along mountain ridges which are higher than the surrounding mountains. often enough there is a view to either side. I would say it's one of the most scenic roads in Laos. Just phantastic! At the end of this elevated highway is phonsali. A fairly big town inhabitated by various hilltribes. Chinese is spoken widely besides 2 other local dialects.
Speaking of which, 20 CCTV (chinese state tv) channels on tv in the hotel, kinda interesting to channelsurf. CCTV very much ultranationalistic. btw, Christian said there is no access to gmail, yahoo, blogspot, google, etc. anywhere in china; total information control...
Km 91. Ave 14.5. Tm 6.15
8.30 to 16.30