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Laos 1

Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang


It's time to leave Thailand and head into Laos - whilst we are really looking forward to Laos I have been dreading the journey to get there for some time. Stories of boats barely floating seating 80 people on seats designed to hold 35 - for two days - not much fun.
We journeyed to Huay Xai across the river from Chiang Khong - a 3 min boat ride in a tiny boat loaded with 6 backpackers and 6 backpacks so that it was reminiscent of the bamboo rafting in Chiang Mai ie barely above the surface.

Huay Xia is notable for two things - average hostels and our very first taste of Beerlao - in fact much of our one and only night in this border town was spent enjoying the latter in the company of Stuart and Sarah whom we had met earlier on the bus. A couple of the many faces that keep cropping up in towns and cities hundreds of miles apart now that we are on the SE Asia backpacker circuit.


Due to my boat transit concerns I had persuaded Niamh to take the flashpacker option of a more exclusive boat with limited numbers, soft seats, meals and accommodation included. The only problem here is that the internet had a number of very worrying reviews as to how this option worked out for other travellers. As it happens our boat (Nagi of Mekong) was great, the journey comfortable, peaceful and picturesque. The accommodation in Pak Beng was basic to say the least but I honestly believe that it was one of the best options in town.


Our boat stopped a couple of times, once in a village that seemed to be, predominantly, inhabited by children selling coloured fabric wristbands (Niamh bought at least 5, I bought none) and the Pak Ou caves which are, to say the least, underwhelming - if you find yourself considering a day trip here - skip it and have a beerlao instead.


Arriving in Luang Prabang we find a sleepy town full of wats, monks, backpackers and bakery cafes. We were planning to meet up with Kat and Dave, friends from Cayman, and such is the size of the town it didn't take long to bump into them and we headed off to a riverside bar which became our local for our time in LP.


The rest of our time in Luang Prabang was spent watting, trying to get a picture of the front of a monk, drinking coffee, eating cake and a trip to the stunning waterfalls for a dip.




After a few days we bade farewell to Kat and Dave and head off on the vomit bus to Vang Vieng.

Posted by steve1000 06:47 Archived in Laos Tagged waterfall prabang luang beerlao huay xai

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Sounds fun for the young! You seem to have encountered all the things that stop me even thinking about visiting these places, interesting, fascinating & lovely as they may be.
Anyway enjoy all the experiences- what a tale you'll have to tell when you get back to dear old England.
Lokking forward to April. Take care, God bless you both. Love Mum & Dad xx

by valvic

Hi Guys! Sorry it's taken me so long to sign up to this thing! Have just read all your entries and am so jealous - even the bad parts haven't put me off! Anyway, continue to have fun and take care of each other. Miss you lots, and can't wait to see you in April. Will keep checking in to follow your travel adventures. Lots of love, Julie, Brendan & Dan xx

by Julie-BK

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