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Published: June 13th 2015
Passing the border to Laos was, as Cambodia, not without a scam! Knowing a visa costs 30 dollars and you have five dollars of admission fee, we took only the amount mentioned needed on the governements website. Of course when we arrived at the border they asked 35 dollars for the visa, two dollars extra because it was a Saturday, two dollars of admission fee and three dollars to get your passport back. This really pissed us off, as now we didn't had enough to pay for these additional fees and felt after all not that smart only having the exact amount. Luckily, a very nice couple of Chile borrowed us the missing dollars to get our passports back!
Happy to arrive at our first stop in Laos, Muang Kwa, after 18 hours laying as a sardine in the back of our crappy nightbus and a horrible border pass, we found a pleasant little hostel next to the Nam river where we stayed for one night. Muang Kwa is a small local quiet village where tourist usually only stay one night to take a boat on the Nam river to Nong Khiaw, which is suppose to be very beautiful. Exactly
for that reason we also stopped here, so the next morning we took a boat with ten other tourists direction Nong Khiaw. As English is not very often spoken, we have been informed about the departure hour and guided to the departure location through pieces of papier hanging througout the town. A nice queste to start the day. The boattrip was a kind of rafting experience with the many small falls and the scenery was indeed like promised magnificent. This trip was quite similar to our boat adventure in Cambodia, as we stopped several times to take some people at the border of the river, luckely this time they took less people.
Finally arrived, we discovered Nong Khiaw which is a little village between the mountains located at the two sides of the Nam-river bound by a big bridge. One side you find many nice hostels, bungalows and restaurants overlooking the river and the other side is mostly where the locals live. Nong Khiaw is a perfect place to enjoy local food (like the sticky rice), the peace and relax in a hammock on your bungalow terrace, so that is exactly what we did for two days.
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