crossing the border into laos...

Chiang Khong Travel Blog

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... was one of the easiest border crossings i've seen so far. fast, no walking, no bribing, even smiling & joking officials... good stuff

left and right tourists getting ripped of who did the crossing with a package by a travel agency, though: "money? you already paid money for the visa, we never got anything?".. and of course stupid tourists who get pissed when the exchange rate for the visa in baht is not that great hehe fun times to watch

so anyway, woke up early, enjoyed a muesli with a view on laos in the bamboo guesthouse, tuk a 10 baht tuktuk ride to the checkpoint, stamped out with a 5 baht weekend fee... paid 20 baht + 10 baht for luggage (haha) for the ferry boat (which was a modified rowing boat), filled out visa application and immigration form, paid 35 us ndollars (+1 weekend charge) and had my visa. the stamp in officer wanted another 20 baht, but my "WHY???" made him change his mind quickly hehe

and in laos i am! deja vu from peru into bolivia... everything looks similar to thailand, but just a bit poorer & more laid back. walked up the main street looking for the hotel i planned to stay at and some guy asked me where i wanted to go, and surprise, he was not a tout but showed me the directions to the hotel... wow!

i decided for another splurge night before the next big & rough adventure, which is either gibbon experience (unlikely) or the 2 day slow boat (unfortunately very likely hehe) - so i'm staying at the thaveesin hotel in a deluxe room with aircon, cabletv and hot shower ensuite for 400 baht. i am writing this while watching bbc world for the first time in a while... not a bad start into laos where soon all i can get is the rumoured friends-reruns everywhere :-)

will explore town to bribe myself into the gibbon experience or get a nice boat for tomorrow... on some boats there are some comfy seats that you can catch if you show up early... and they can be damn sure that i'm that bastard who camps the boat side from 8am on to get one of those hehe

but i'm getting more and more interested in the bus to luang nam tha instead up north from here... saves me from the 2 day boat journey, let's me enjoy northern laos more and i can enroute catch the more scenic boat ride down to luang prabang (6 hours!)... might opt for that option
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Chiang Khong
photo by: kerryandandrei