Saturday, 13 June 2015

Off The Beaten Track - A Dirtbike Adventure In Laos

When I was asked to go on a trip to northern Laos  on Enduro bikes I did not even know where Laos was.
We spent eight days on a round trip in northern Laos starting in Luang Prabang, riding alongside the Mekong River, getting close to the Myanmar, Chinese and Vietnamese frontiers. We rode up to 200 km a day and stayed overnight at small homestays and small hotels.
This film is a kind of documentary with no demand for completeness to show the country and culture in every detail but a motorcycle video diary of this fantastic trip.

It was a guided tour organised by "Offroad Laos Adventures", a business run by Charly, a Frenchman and dirtbike enthusiast with  a great love for this country, it's people and nature.

Laos is a landlocked country in South East Asia and shares borders with China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Since 1975 it is ruled by a communist government  and continues to rely on foreign aid from western governments and NGOs and more and more from the People's Republic of China. It is rated as one of the least developed countries in East Asia, with more than 75% of people living on less than two US dollars a day. More than three quarters of the population still live as subsistence farmers. In recent years tourism  has become one of the main generators of foreign income.

The population is very laid-back but the Lao national character is a complex combination of culture, environment and religion, which is mainly Buddhism and animism.
Some 150 ethnic sub-groups within 50 primary ethnicities are officially recognised.
The landscape is dominated by rivers and mountains, folding the country into a series of often spectacular ridges and valleys, rivers and mountain passes.
Laos was affected very badly by the Indochina and Vietnam wars, being known as the "most bombed country" in the world.

(excerpts from "Lonely Planet Laos")

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