Life in the fast lane

Nong Khai Travel Blog

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Dinner time in Thailand
Crossing the border from Laos to Thailand was every bit as easy as doing it in the other direction. A beautifully air-conditioned bus took us across the Mekong, switching from the right hand side of the road to the left; border formalities were painless; suddenly I'd left the calm of Laos and was back in busy, noisy Thailand. Nong Khai was a mid-sized town with not much to it, but it was as different from Vientiane as Vientiane was from Pak Beng. I took a room in an atmospheric guest house, had dinner at a busy local restaurant, spent the evening chilling in the heat.

By the next morning, I'd changed my mind again. Vietnam was off the agenda but instead of returning to Laos, I decided to go back to Bangkok. From there I could take a bus to Trat and over the Cambodian border.
Street scene
Yeah! Even now, nearly three months into the trip, I wasn't used to having this sort of freedom. Give me a week (as I noted in my diary) and I could be anywhere. "Why not fly to Nepal? Why not get a train to Butterworth and see the orangutans on Sumatra? Why not strike out for Beijing and 'do' the trans-Siberian? I could." And I could. But I didn't. Not yet.

Bought a sleeper ticket to Bangkok for about ten quid, then; got slated on the TT for being so vulgar as to make a joke on the Lao branch; walked a fairly long way downriver to see a stupa that had slipped into the water in the nineteenth century and was still there. Had a shower at my guest house and felt good for about six seconds, before every pore in my body started pumping sweat again just like water shot out of a syringe. Tuk-tuk to the station, bolted some dinner, got on a train.

I'd never been on a sleeper train before. On either side of the aisle, pairs of wide wooden seats faced each other; an hour or so into the journey, though, attendants came down the train and slid these seats together to form a single bunk. The upper bunk swung down from the wall above, and there was my bed for the night. The guy guy streched a sheet over the mattress, took a pillow from his trolley, put a cover on it, left a blanket in a sealed wrapper, and moved on. Spent the evening reading up on Cambodia and was asleep by eleven o'clock.
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Dinner time in Thailand
Dinner time in Thailand
Street scene
Street scene
The Holy Reliquary in the Middle o…
The Holy Reliquary in the Middle …
The Buddha watches over the Mekong
The Buddha watches over the Mekong
End of the line - at least until s…
End of the line - at least until …
Nong Khai
photo by: Laurabob