Sailing down the mekong
We arrived in Chaing Khong, the thai border town on the mekong after a 10 hour bus trip on the most uncomfortable bus in the world. it actually had no suspension and any tiny stone in the road sent it lurching up and down for a good ten minutes, but once in Chiang kohng we found a decent guesthouse and had a pritty good sleep. The next morning we woke up ridiculously early in order to make it to the immigration office for openning. unfortunately every other tourist group had the same idea, though luckily they were quite bimbly and we managed to get quite far ahead in the que. After showing documentation we were then ushered into a long boat with our massive bags and it raced across the mekong, which is absolutely MASSIVE and dropped us on the other side where we again had to find the immirgation office, and pay an undisclosed fee to the border guards.
The Boat,and its commander
We then got a tuktuk down to the harbour and purchased our slow boat tickets. The slow boat for some reason had about twelve car seats and then fifty wooden benches, because we had got there early we were lucky enough to get a car seat which was so much more comfortable than the wooden becnhes and after a couple of hours we set off. Because of the extreme uncomfyness everyone on the boat decided it would be a pritty good idea to drink a lot of beer, the only official beer in Laos, called, Beer Laos. Again it is only sold in litre bottles and the guys running the boat played deep bass music at top volume and thus our boat became some kind of horrific party boat !? Anyway after 7 hours we arrived at the half way point, a village that is made up of guesthouses for people getting off the slow boat.
Here we had a bit of a fluster as some man ran off with my rucksack and then demanded money for this, but we had soon found a guesthouse and all was fine, although the electricity in the whole town all goes off at 10:30pm and with no lights anywhere, it's hard to describe just how dark it is !! Anyway we got up extremely early to make sure we got the good seats again and to our embarssment found there where only 2 car seats on the new boat, and we ended up with them and so hid our faces as everyone else got on. The journey today took eleven hours but had the most spectacular scenery that it went quite quickly although most people were suffering from the party boat of yesterday.