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Published: January 28th 2013
A red-eye start - far too early for breakfast - and a one and a half hour bus trip to Laos Border. Or should we say Chaos Border. As you know we Brits love order and getting into queues - this was more like a 'foule francaise' .... However after two hours of papers, passports, forms, documents we finally got our visas and boarded a dug out canoe to cross the Mekong.... then mounted a water based tuk-tuk to a point further up river (or should it be down river) where we alighted our wooden longboat.
Our two day trip started this morning in Houei Xai and finishes tonight in Pak Beng. Approximately 160 kilometres and 7 hours journey today - no doubt some little person should be able to work out how many miles per hour or kilometres per hour we did?
The trip down the river is truly amazing and well worth doing. The scenery is stunning as the boat winds its way through the Lao countryside towards Luang Prabang, two days sail away.
The locals earn their living by growing and selling peanuts, hops, maize and sweet potato - some have cattle and water buffalo.
Some of the crops are planted on sand by the rivers edge - ready for the rainy season when the river rises.
We visited a river village - which depicted the lifestyle of the river people - both in their living conditions and their livelihood.
We forgot to mention in last night's blog that in Chiang Rai we ate in a wonderful local Thai restaurant - called Phu-lae - it's in the Saturday Walking Street and is really fabulous.
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