Moving time  4 hours 13 minutes

Time  21 hours 50 minutes

Coordinates 3431

Uploaded February 26, 2018

Recorded February 2018

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-
2,363 f
895 f
0
3.1
6.2
12.34 mi

Viewed 964 times, downloaded 25 times

near Ban Xianglôm, Louangphabang (Laotia)

This is a moderately difficult circuit hike beginning at the Nam Khan River side opposite the village Ban Xieng Lom close to Luang Prabang in Laos.

We went to the village Ban Xieng Lom with a motorbike and left it in a garage of a family we asked nicely with the tiny Lao we know. We got lucky and a guesthouse owner whose English was good joined to help. He also brought us to the other side with his punt for 5000 KIP pp. The slimly built canoe looks wobbly and it is if you don’t stay low, however, he knew perfectly well how to handle it. (Make sure you have your valuables packed in a dry sack nevertheless.) We slept in hammocks in an area covered with black canvas right at the beginning. This is most likely used by Tiger Trails who offer this as an organised/guided hike. Please go with them if you are not experienced.

The hike took us 9 hours with ~12kg packs, ~7 hours relaxed walking and 2 hours for breakfast and a long break to avoid midday sun. There is no trail marks and many intersections, however following the trail on our gps map worked fairly well. Nevertheless, we tried our best to mark all of them so its easier to follow. There is two steep but easily manageable ascends. No hazardous parts apart from the bees (read below) and the path was always visible and barely overgrown. Never leave beaten paths or make a fire where there has not been one. (At least thats what I got told regarding the mines and bombs in Laos.) There is some river water to possibly filter at the beginning, less at the end (see pictures), however, we brought our own water. (At least 3l each is recommended because of the hot sun and humidity here.)

Mind the bees here!! You can hear and avoid them so really no worries. After the highest point there were quite a few hives but all seemed abandoned. In any case keep away and pass hives that make sound as far and quickly as possible; take antihistamine with you, soup to wash the bites, a phone to call for help when reacting allergic or reacting strongly after more then 15 bites. They never look for you but be aware. I saw and heard a massive swarm coming towards me but left as quick as possible.

We really enjoyed this hike with great views on the surrounding rocks and hills. At the end of the trail is the elephant sanctuary and we got lucky to be allowed to ride one of them.

Walked: 26.02.2018
This is how you will cross the river. Put your valuable somewhere save...
We put our hammocks here. It got a bit cold. We had a 20 degree sleeping bag and a thin foam mat too.
The first meters we went parallel to the river.
Looking backwards to where we passed the river.
Path leads over a field but easy to spot.
Go to the right...
Possible place to stay over night
Go to the right
Go to the left...
Go to the right...
Go right here...
Here you join a road to the right.
There is a shop here. It closed right after we left at 8am though.
Stay left.
Straight here
To the left here. (Not like us to the right.) The second picture is me looking backwards.
First steeper ascend. Solid rocks and barely rubble.
Through the gate here...
To the right
Tiny bees everywhere but no problem to pass at all. Nothing compared to the bee hives later. The smell of the tree was amazing!
To the right.
Left around the lake here.
Don’t go up to the left. Straight through the gate is right.
Follow the main path to the right here
To the right and not through the gate.
To the left
Massive Bee Hive!! Keep away and pass quickly. I got attacked by a massive swarm trying to get a bit closer. There is many bee hives here, but most seemed abandoned. Really not a problem but to be on the save side: Don’t wear dark cloth or shiny objects, neither any cream with scent. Pay attention to sound! You can hear them coming...I did and ran!! Take a antihistamine with you! Won’t hurt...
Right here. The left one is overgrown.
It looks like you cross the river and you shouldn’t but there is a bigger one behind.
Take the left one, not the right one like in the picture.
Join the dirt road to the right. Second picture looks back (not this way).
Leave the dirt road to the path on the right here.
One of the right ones. We passed here without using the bridge. It didn’t look save at all and we could pass without wet feet.
To the left
To the right (the left might lead back to the path too but looks more overgrown).
We got lucky and were allowed to ride the elephant.

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