The topic of getting a motorcycle came up before we even left for SE Asia. I love riding but to be honest, it seemed a bit daunting. The traffic and road conditions seemed dangerous, and the possibility of breaking down in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country was a little scary. Since being here we've eased our way into it, getting bikes for a day or two at a time and taking long rides out into the country. It's not nearly as scary as it seemed from half way around the world, and is so freeing after all of the miserable bus rides and public transportation nightmares. So it wasn't hard to come to the decision to spend our whole time in Laos on a bike.
The first day we arrived in Luang Prabang we started to search for a place that would rent us a motorcycle for three weeks. It turns out that until recently there was a city wide ban on renting motorcycle to tourists. We're not sure why, but it probably had something to do with accidents and liabilities. Now that the ban has been lifted, there's still not many places that will rent motorcycles and none of them will rent for more than a day at a time. We were getting very disheartened at the thought of having to take an eleven hour bus ride to Vientiane in order to get a long term rental. We had our minds set on not taking any more bus rides so we dug a little deeper online and found a website called Remoteasia.com. It turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. They carry bikes much better suited to the terrain we would be traveling on, and they were willing to ship the bike to Luang Prabang for an extra fee.
We had been talking to Tara and Tyler about our plans to rent a motorcycle for what seems like a month now and we were pleasantly surprised when we got an e-mail saying that they were heading to Laos a little early and wanted to join us for a week. This sounded great so we were really looking forward to hooking up and hitting the road.
(I just want to throw a plug in here and say that if anyone reading this is thinking about renting a bike in Laos, I would whole-heartedly recommend Jim and Remote Asia. We got a solid bike that hasn't had any problems, and great customer service.)
Our Honda FTR 223......"The Tracker"