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Chiang Khong Travel Blog› entry 49 of 55 › view all entries
Apparently, I was sleep-reading last night, according to Burger. And I might well have been, though no-one has told me that I sleep-read before. I usually only sleep-doodle. This place has the coldest shower in anywhere we've been so far, though it's good for waking you up for another 8 hour boat journey! After a pre-ordered breakfast (bread and jam), the main mission today is to get rid of all the remaining kip. In Pak Beng, this means buying lots of food, but it's essential for the boat ride anyway (though this boat has a bar, and snack selection!). So, we buy our ticket from the vendor at the top of the hill to Huay Xia, and it's 10,000 kip (5 quid), which is pretty good going.
As mentioned this boat has snack selection, bar, and cushions! Unfortunately, the seats don't move like the other one, but it's OK, I can live with that. I'm not sure what Pak Beng was like before tourism, but it's only there as a mid-way point betwenn Luang Prabang, and Huay Xia, and lacks any sort of charm, or character. It seems to be just a series of shabby guesthouses, and one huge Hilton style hotel. Definitely not somewhere to spend any time at all, so leaving is not a crutch.
Passing through more forests, and bamboo villages, the speedboats come rushing by periodically. It's a really peaceful way to get into Thailand, and is a good chance to do some reading, and thinking. More monks get on at a small village stop, whilst I read "The Perfect Storm" and the rainclouds rush in. Maybe not such a good choice of book, but it coms to nothing, and within 7 hours we're in Huay Xai, where the sunset is stunning, Vientiane standards. Unfortunately, there's no time to hang around, as we do the easiest border crossing yet, takes 10 minutes (including the boat ride from Huay Xia, over to Chiang Khong in Thailand), and we're back in the land of smiles.
The plan was to originally go to Chiang Rai, and spend the night there, but we decide to just stay in Chiang Khong, there's a few guesthouses about, and we find one, called Bamboo (aren't they all?), for 200 baht per night, for a room with a fan, and mosquito net. Burger has bank issues, as no ATM (there are loads here, a sure sign of being back in Thailand!) will let him take any money out. Bloody Barclays! After some food, we have some drinks at a bar down the road.
A few drinks, turns into innumberable numbers of drinks, which turns into karaoke! Always a good night, when Don't Look Back in Anger is sung. Somehow we get back to the guesthouse, and pass out, with hazy recollections of singing some Oasis song...