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Floating down the Mekong River (for two days)

Pakbeng Travel Blog

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Going somewhere on the Mekong River

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.

Laos beauty.
  The next morning, we boarded again for 8 more hours down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang, Laos.

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.

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Going somewhere on the Mekong River
Going somewhere on the Mekong River
Laos beauty.
Laos beauty.
Our boat on day #1
Our boat on day #1
Looking across the Mekong River fr…
Looking across the Mekong River f…
Day #2 and the nice boat.
Day #2 and the "nice" boat.
Village in Laos.
Village in Laos.
Lao women.
Lao women.
Fish snacks, anyone?
Fish snacks, anyone?
Just getting over being sick....
Just getting over being sick....
floating on the Mekong.
floating on the Mekong.
Crossing from Thailand to Laos for…
Crossing from Thailand to Laos fo…
Boarding our two-day boat ride.
Boarding our two-day boat ride.
Day #1 - the most cramped and unco…
Day #1 - the most cramped and unc…
Chain-driven boat.
Chain-driven boat.
Boarding our boat
Boardin'g our boat
Erez Oz from Jerusalem
Erez "Oz" from Jerusalem
Our gang in the back of the boat.
Our gang in the back of the boat.
The engine room (and bag storage)
The engine room (and bag storage)
These three boys turned out to be …
These three boys turned out to be…
A random village on the banks of t…
A random village on the banks of …
A Thai rockstar.  I ended up signi…
A Thai rockstar. I ended up sign…
A Mekong shot.
A Mekong shot.
....if i only had a wakeboard and …
....if i only had a wakeboard and…
Our boat ran out of gas so why not…
Our boat ran out of gas so why no…
Crazy Bart from Poland
Crazy Bart from Poland
No gas, so why not swim. then smok…
No gas, so why not swim. then smo…
Speed racer. It took them 7 hours.…
Speed racer. It took them 7 hours…
Chillin in VIP section.
Chillin' in VIP section.
Laos sunset
Laos sunset
VIP section
VIP section
The engine room (and luggage stora…
The engine room (and luggage stor…
Sunset approaching Luang Prabang.
Sunset approaching Luang Prabang.
Oz - My new buddy from Jerusalem
"Oz" - My new buddy from Jerusalem
Pakbeng
photo by: borneonikieta