Floating down the Mekong River (for two days)
Pakbeng Travel Blog› entry 27 of 46 › view all entries
So.... I finally got sick. I made it through two months in India AND a month in Thailand without getting sick. And then, just before a two day float down the Mekong River....BOOM! Just before I jumped on my overnight minibus to the border of north Thailand and Laos, I ate a Papaya Salad from a street vendor in Pai. Let's just say it will probably be my last Papaya Salad - forever. The six hour windy road to through the Thai mountains just got worse and worse. And, hours before we crossed the border and got on our boat, I yanked. Over and over again. But, I had to get on the boat. The first day was a horror. But, I remained strong, layed on the floor, closed my eyes and pushed through. After a 7 hour float, we stopped on the side of the river to sleep in local guest houses.
The second day was AMAZING! I felt much better (no longer sick) and somehow ended up sitting in the back section of the boat with a group of people that I would eventually see daily for the next few weeks! Steve from the UK. Mike from Canada. Jess from UK. The Aussie boys. And about 15 other randoms. We played guitar, sang and talked. It felt like college again. Our boat ran out of gas and people ended up jumping off the roof into the river. It was a day of pure entertainment.
For anyone traveling from Thailand to Laos, I definitely recommend taking the northern entry so you can float down the Mekong River for two days. It is long, uncomfortable and drawn out - but it is peaceful, social and very memorable!!! It's the perfect introduction to Laos.