Hi everyone we thought it would be best to give this trip its own blog as it was so long.
We arranged the slow boat package again with Mae from our hostel who is always so helpful. Our minivan picked us up from our guesthouse at 10am to take the first part of our trip from Chiang mai to Chiang rai, it was a comfortable enough trip once you don't look at all the crazy over taking the driver is doing. While in Chiang rai we got a short amount of time to see the white temple which was good as it was different to all the other temples we have already seen on this trip! From here it was back on the bus and onto Chiang Kong really just a small town on the Mekong river for people to cross over into Laos. We had a lovely wooden guesthouse looking out over the Mekong river. We had met Hugh and Gill a brother and sister from wales while on the bus journey and we arranged to head out for a few drinks that night as there was not much else to do. The next morning we were up for
breakfast at 7:30. We then got stamped out of Thailand and crossed over to the other side of the Mekong and we were in Laos. We got our visa on entry without to much hassle and then the fun started. We got shuttled from place to place in the hope that we would buy something which we did, lovely rolls for the long day ahead. By 10:30 we were finally on our slow boat only to be told it would not be leaving till 12. So it is true what they say about Laos everything just slows down! So we were sitting in our seats killing some time when I spotted something in the corner of my eye, I looks up only to spot a massive spider crawling up the chair in front of me. As soon as I said to Laura about it she and everyone around us jumped from their seats. It was a funny start to our trip, lets just say a lot of people had trouble sleeping after seeing that haha!
So eventually we set off and we were all amazed by the scenery around us which made the whole journey worthwhile. It was 6pm
when we arrived in yet another small town pak beng. As soon as the boat docked we were like animals in a zoo all the kids and locals peering in at us and the kids asking us for the sweets we had in our bags. We got settled into our guesthouse and went out to meet Hugh and Gill for dinner. We had got talking to a few more people on the boat and we had all arranged to meet in the only bar in town called the hive can't be hard to find right? A couple of locals pointed us in the direction and led us up this massive hill in the pitch dark one of whom kept right behind ian and kept asking were he was from haha! After our long trek to the top and eventually finding a bar with locals singing karaoke we realized that it wasn't the right bar although the staff tried to convince us it was! One swift drink and it was back down the hill to find the hive, which as you would gather was only a minute away from where we had started out. As soon as we walked up to
the place the young Laos girl who runs it and had told us about the place at the dock earlier ran out to greet us. Nearly everyone from the boat was there and we had a good night talking and getting to know everyone.
We were up early again the following morning getting rolls for the 8 hour journey. Again all day the scenery was amazing and you would find yourself just staring out at everything around you in awe of it all.
The trip is long but we think it was definitely worth it, you get to see so much along the way and it definitely beats a speed boat for 8 hours or a 10 hour bus journey along dirt roads and over mountains. Plus we made a great bunch of friends who we would end up spending a lot of time with over the next few days which you will hear about in our next installment.
Bye for now Ian and Laura xx
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