First taste of Laos

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
Trip End Aug 31, 2013

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chiang Khong, Thailand
bus to Chiang Rai total clunker
-bus to Chiang Khong, got dropped off and walked to a nearby 7-11, a Thai woman approached me while I waited outside with the bags and an American guy approached Steve inside while making purchases, turns out they are married and 'just happen to have' a GH, we didn't have a plan so we jumped in the back of their p/u truck
-the next morning they told us that we might not get over to Laos that day as some guests a few days ago had to wait around to leave, they provided transport an hour late to the border and if there weren't enough people to catch the boat, they wouldn't be going that day, we took our chances and left on our own, earlier in the morning
-Huay Xai border xing had loads of people waiting so no worries to get on the boat!
-the actually boat ride was like less less than 5 mins, got a tuk-tuk to the speed (death) boat
-crammed into a 2x2 ft space for 6 hrs with a lunch stop in Pak Beng, most people discourage you from going on this journey as people have actually died, you are suppose to wear helmets as when the water level is low, the drivers sometimes hit rocks (as it's nearly impossible for the guys to see in front of them and people get tossed out, occasionally cracking their heads open), however there were not enough helmets, the rides is super fast, loud and although we were in the front, I hear the people in the back get engulfed in fumes, besides the cramped space, it was a thrill ride that you normally would pay bucks for maybe 15 minutes, I met a Thai lady at lunch eating some homemade chili paste and she shared it with me (YUM), forget the slow boat with the overnight stay in some run down hostel, go for the speed boat and get there in one day!

Luang Prabang, Laos
-we arrived in LPB and took cover at a restaurant just as it started to rain, thank goodness the rain waited b/c all our belongings and us would have been drenched!
-ate a quick meal while waiting for them to come down on prices, everyone else paid premium but got to leave straight away, we didn't have much bargaining power with the rain and not knowing where we were or where we were going!
-met up with La the next day, chatted over coffee, he drove us around the area, went to an ethnics/tribe museum (interesting exhibit on marriages), to a wat, lunch  with bamboo shoots stuffed with pork, stew, pork banana leaves, steamed veggies with tom paste (YUM)
-parted ways and we tried some Lao beers, got oil massages, played with a cute pug pup and picked ups snack at the street vendors
-met up with La again the next day and he took us to a noodle soup shop (YUM), craft shops, closed temple with Buddha saying on the trees
-Steve and I walked by the Mekong River, around the village streets, played with another old pug while it rained, met a kid from Alaska, walked around a market, had dinner a semi-Thanksgiving meal at JoMa, said see ya later to La

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