Published: May 1st 2011March 13th 2011
We were up early to get breakfast before we set off towards Pak Beng. the boat was big enough for us all to spread out and relax. We were on it from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and i was glad we had enough to keep us entertained, we'd bought books, sudoku, ipods and cards, but it was still boring and most people slept for the whole day.
Not much to say about the whole day, we arrived in Pak Beng which was a town with not much to do in it. For tea we both ate buffalo, Kim's was curried and mine BBQ'd. To relax we went to the only bar in town, which turned out to be more like a drug den, we didn't stay long after we'd been offered coke, met and ecstasy.
Up at 6:30 a.m. for another day on the boat, same as the day before pretty uneventful although i did get alot quicker at doing sudoku! along the way we saw loads of people panning for gold, our guide told us that although there is not much gold in the river what they do find is
worth alot to them. We got to the border at 5p.m. and undertook the strangest border crossing ever, the boat can't pull up on the side it wants, it has to go to the opposite side, in our case the Laos side, we then have to check out of Laos get a long boat across and then check into Thailand. Why they can't put a border point for both on each side i do not understand. We had arrived into Chiang Khong and checked into the smallest hotel room I've ever seen, to shower you had to stand over the toilet.
Once we'd all eaten we relaxed with a beer on the balcony, well i thought I'd bought beer but it turns out I'd bought a rice wine drink, very cheap and very strong. It tasted like a flat elderflower cider, drinkable.
After breakfast we set off for Chiang Mai, a 4/5 hour bus ride away. On the way we stopped at a service station called 'Cabbages and Condoms' there were Christmas themed suits all made from condom, quite a weird place.
We stowed our bags in a hotel for the afternoon and went
sightseeing, first was a temple which we got our fortunes told (for a small fee). It was a machine that you put money in and it lit up spinning and talking until it landed on a number, you then got your fortune out of the draw below. I was number 12 and after getting a local to translate I discovered that I always had someone looking out for me and i had more luck coming my way. It also said my love life was shit but we'll ignore that one. Unfortunately Kim wasn't dressed to enter a temple so she didn't get a fortune.
Next was the 3 Kings Monument, it was tiny and very unimpressive so we moved on quickly. I went to a market to get a new watch as my last one broke somewhere in Laos, we met at 5 for our night train to Bangkok.
There are more photos below