Viangphouka Travel Blog› entry 2 of 23 › view all entries
The first thing on the agenda today was crossing the border. Crossing the border itself was not a big deal; just get on a small boat and 5 to 10 minutes later you're on the other side. The immigration procedure was a lot more fuss. Luckily the guide for the trekking was already there to meet us, so he could help us through the whole thing. Fill out several forms, get your passport photo’s stapled to the forms, stand in line to get your visa and then get in another line to get the visa stamped. The whole thing took more than an hour. Then came the best part: I became an instant millionaire by exchanging a 100 euro's!
At this point most of the other border
crossers would go shopping in Ban Houayxay. They were all after the same thing:
a pillow to make there 2 day journey on the slow boat to Luang Prabang a little
The bus ride would only take about 3 to 4 hours, including two stops at villages. The first village we visited was a Lanten (=dressed in blue) village. Lanten people often establish their villages near streams and are sometimes referred to as Lao Huay, or "Stream" Lao.
They wear dark indigo clothing and the
women are recognizable by their shaven eyebrows. As soon as we entered the
village we were besieged by all the kids in the village, trying to sell us
handmade bamboo-fiber paper. In hindsight this would be the most touristy
village I would visit in