CHIANG KHONG TO HOAYXAI TO PATBENG – THE SLOW BOAT DOWN THE MEKONG


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Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay
August 1st 2009
Published: August 11th 2009
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The night bus that we took from Pai to Chiang Khong was pretty harsh on our stomachs, partly down to the Sangsom we'd drunk the night before with Greg, and worsened by the bus constantly flying up and down hills and lurching around corners. As soon as we did arrive, we were ushered to some rooms for 3 hours sleep, before being woken abruptly and quickly ushered to the immigration point. We had to have our visas for Thailand stamped to say we'd left the country, and we were then ferried across the river to obtain visas for Laos. It was a little confusing but must have been organised as it all seemed to somehow go to plan.

As soon as we were across the river at Hoayxai, the people on that side of the Mekong all kept offering us whiskey and Beer Laos, which could have meant either that everyone really liked a drink here, or maybe that was their impression of travellers in general!

The slow boat itself was a little cramped for Robbie's long legs on the first day, and we were definitely glad that we had bought some cushions! As we passed through all the old fishing villages we were really overcome with how beautiful it was. It was pretty good to see a slice of life in Laos. Occasionally, the boat would stop at the side of the river, and children from the villages would hop aboard and try sell things, at double the price they were being sold for on the boat!

As soon as we arrived in Patbeng (about 8 hours later), the heavens immediately opened and we saw a really impressive downpour and storm. We tried a Beer Laos for the first time and it was lovely. The Kips were a bit confusing to work out though, there were just too many 0's!

The second day on the boat was pretty similar to the first, but the landscapes and scenery were even more stunning. Cliffs jutted out from the river and the sky looked like it was out of a film set. We had a few moments where we couldn't believe how lucky we were to be there as it felt simply too good to be true.



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23rd August 2009

thanks, blame the drinking on me!!
Hi guys!! Hope all's well for ya. I just checked in to see about some updates from Vietnam, but maybe you're still in Laos. For me, I spent a few more days..(i think like 6!) in Pai then found out my family was up in Hanoi so I hauled ass over to Vietnam and have been havin a great time here since then. Had a quick 2 week trip from Hanoi to Saigon, then 4 days in Cambodia, then another 6 days in Saigon with my new Vietnamese family, now I'm back on the road heading north. Well, I just wanted to say hi, let you know I'm movin north through Vietnam, so if you guys are comin south, let me know! I miss ya both and would love to see you again! Lookin forward to readin more of your trip. Now I can find out what to do goin the other way. Take care, talk to you soon! one love greg

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