So, we are finally ready to depart Laos, 10 days on. My time here has been varied - my view of Laos is that it is a beautiful country, with delicious food, awful roads, and charming people. We travelled up to Laos from Chiang Khong, opting to take the 2 day slow boat along the mekong river. Now, this boat would be slow no matter which country you were in, but of course, as we were running to Laos/Thailand time, it was even slower. Our first day on the boat was 8 hours, in which the scenery fascinated, and the comfort levels were surprisingly above expected! Don’t believe the horror stories - you really don’t need to buy a pillow to sit on, as the whole boat is filled with car seats. Yes, ripped out car seats. When we finally arrived at Pakbeng, a wave of relief spread through the boat, as I think many were missing the simple pleasure of being able to walk around! After finally stumbling off the boat, we were swarmed by people shouting ‘no room, we have room!!’ who were holding up posters advertising properties. Lucky for us, as we had ‘no room’ as of yet. We settled for a room at 200baht, 4 pounds, which turned out to be rather nice! After struggling up the hill with our gear, we met up with some fellow travellers for an Indian. Well, it wasn’t so much an Indian meal, rather, extremely spicy sauces thrown onto some meat. Still, it hit the spot.
The next morning we arrived keenly at the dock, boarded the boat twenty minutes early and waited. And waited. And waited. An hour & a half later, and on a boat crammed with people, we eventually left. And 9 hours later, we arrived in Luang Prubang….