Nightmares from Laos Street
Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
40Trip End Feb 03, 2011
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It must had been about 3 hours before I finally arrived at Chiang Khong. What pissed me off was that the dropoff was 2 km away from the Mekong river custom border to Huay Xai, Laos. Reluctantly tuktuked to the border and was greeted by the basic facility that was the Thai Immigration. Leaving Thailand was easy, chop chop, all bahts disposed and hopped on the long tail boat
Now my original plan was to stay the night at Huay Xai and make my way to Luang Prabang by boat (only one departure at 11am). The boat option was a pretty daunting 8 hours slow boat to Pakbeng, spend the night at Pakbeng and ride another 10-12 hours slow boat to Luang Prabang. Pretty tedious I reckoned. The other option was a 12 hours overnight bus to Luang Prabang via Luang Nam Tha. Seeing that Huay Xai was a dead end town, right there and then decided to get the overnight bus for US$25 for a 5pm departure. A saving of 2 days in my itinerary was too good to miss. Looking back this US$25 bus tickect was the pricest I had paid for the entire trip.
A songthiaew transfer to a derelict bus station 20 minutes away, was just the beginning of a nightmare. Met 3 russian travellers - very cold characters, probably still thawing from their slavic winter
The route was up north to Luang Nam Tha and turned east to Oudomxai before heading down south to Luang Prabang. The roads were horrendously bumpy and from what I had experienced, there were no straight roads longer than 50 metres. The constant swaying and jolting of seats meant no sleep at all. A little before midnight, we must had stopped at Luang Nam Tha for a supper break. It was freezing and dinner was a simple ham and cheese roll.