Trip Start Sep 21, 2011
175Trip End Mar 21, 2012
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The first office we go to points us to another office who in turn directs us somewhere else and eventually we reach the immigration office that we have been looking for. The process here is surprisingly quick and easy with friendly staff. I am even pleased to see that she has given me an extension of 30 days from the date that my original visa was due to expire (20th Nov) rather than from today as I expected.
I am desperate for petrol by now and luckily find a station just a couple of km along the main road back to Mukdahan. Just after filling up I am pulled over at a routine police checkpoint and asked for a license. I produce my tatty old UK license which off course he cant read. He immediately asks for 200Bht but I thought I would play the game a little bit longer. I explained that the license was in order, lasts till my 70th birthday, and covers me to drive all vehicles. He turns his back on us and is thinking - I can actually hear the small cogs in his head turning - then he gives me the paper back and waves us off. Bluff worked this time. Arriving back in Mukdahan we pull into the car park in front of a building marked as Tourist Information
We rest up for a bit and eat the food that we brought with us then set out to visit the Mukdahan Tower built to celebrate 50 years since the KIng's accession to the throne back in the 90s. We came here before about 6 years ago and it hasnt changed at all. We ride the lift up to the penultimate floor and enjoy the views looking back over the town, along the river as far as the bridge and across into Laos. There are information boards all the way around the room and are in English as well. We climb up one kore floor into the dome at the top and can go outside to see the views then climb one more floor for Jai to pay her respects to the Buddha there - Phra Phutta Nawaming Mongkhan Mukdahan apparently.
Descending to the second floor we spend some time looking around the small museum of Isaan artifacts and coins and make fools of ourselves posing for photos in costumes.
We look for an old French river boat called the Morris that used to be moored here and served as a floating restaurant but couldnt find it. A tuk-tuk driver told us that it had been sold to a Laos businessman who had taken it back across the river to Savannakhet so we wont be eating there tonight.
Back to the hotel for a snack and a coffee and to 'freshen up'. Back out on the bike after dark and pass slowly along the river front looking at the different restaurants for somewhere to have a beer and some food. After stopping at a couple we settle for a place called Wine, Wild, Why ? and enjoy a large fried fish.
We ride around town for a bit and then back to the hotel about 20:30 - positively late night for me !!
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