Don't Pay The Ferryman
Luang Prabang Travel Blog› entry 6 of 19 › view all entries
Our last day in Luang Prabang and we decide to explore the villages other side of the Mekong from the town. There are 2 or 3 wats, a village as well as some possible viewpoints back across the river to the town.
Finding a boat to take us turns out to be harder than I expected. What I took for a ferry will only take motorbikes and they absolutely refuse to take us no matter what I offer to pay. A couple of hundred metres downstream we find a smaller boat taking Lao to the village on the far bank and the ferryman seems happy enough when we jump into his boat to take us as well. When we get to the other side I pay him 5 thousand Kip each for the trip, though I suspect it is free for localls as I don't notice anyone else paying.
The village has a small Wat which a young football playing monk opens up for us. A little further on we come to Wat Chomephet which looks impressive from a distance set on a ridge overlooking the river, but it is in ruins and the building is just a shell. A short walk further is Wat Xiang Maen where a boy offers to guide us through the neighbouring Budda cave for a small fee for him and his even younger assistant.
It is now late in the afternoon and time to find a boat to take us back to town. We meet an English guy who is also looking for a ride back and offer him a place in our boat. When we are safely on dry land we introduce ourselves and continue to chat over drinks and dinner. His name is Mark and he had driven overland from England and is now heading further East before returning to the UK through a few countries ending in "stan". As expected he has a few tales to tell and the drinks flow freely tonight.