We left the village so early the guard wasn’t even awake to open the gate to the road. It was day two of our three day Tha Kek motor bike cave tour in Laos. We had rented bikes from our hotel and set off with a crude map and a vague idea of what we might find. That was fine for us, we felt like true adventurers on the road of life.
Somewhere late in the afternoon of day one, the paved road turned to dirt and we found ourselves anxiously awaiting a hotel hastily marked on the map. Of course the map wasn’t to scale and we had no idea exactly how far we would need to go. Our moto bike skills had dramatically improved since the day before when we had tried to film our ride and dropped the camera, causing it’s contents to scatter across the road. Thankfully it was only a relatively inexpensive video camera and not one of those new 4G slide android phone. (And yes, it still works!)
Needless to say it our skills had improved and the road had deteriorated. As we set out on the second morning the air was calm, the light crept slowly through the swampland and we found ourselves stopping to take pictures despite the incredible distance we had to cover.
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IF YOU GO: We started our journey in Tha Khek. It took us three long days to do the loop, it’s about 400Km. If you want to take your time and see more caves, definitely make it a four day journey. Be sure to read the motobike loop guide at the hostel, it has some pretty entertaining stories. You’ll almost certainly rent you bike from Mr. K at Tha Khek Traveler’s Lodge. Have him give you a lesson on the moto bike before you set out. It’s easy to ride on pavement, but the back of the loop was incredibly muddy when we were there and it was difficult and dangerous to ride (I did some nice 360s out there!). Read our experience during the loop.