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Boat Day

Huay Xai Travel Blog

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Okay, I know is been a long...(x10) time since I last updated this (blame those lazy worms grow inside me!) I still feel that I should finish it before I forget about everything.

So, after spending 2 days in Chiang Mai, we continued our journey to Laos. Our plan was to travel to Chiang Khong, and then cross the river to Huay Xai Laos, then take a boat down to Luang Prabang. We departed around 12 pm from Chiang Mai and headed to Chiang Khong. The ride was ok, took about 6 hours, and I slept half of the time and missed out most of the scenery outside the window :) There were only 2 toilet breaks throughout the entire journey so do your business when you got the chance, or otherwise do it on the paddy fields:)

We reached Chiang Khong around 6pm, Chiang khong a small sleepy town with only 1 main street, and probably no night life.

We went exploring the town, but it was really dark and little street lights, and so we gave up after a little while. We overnight in Chaing Khong before catching boat to Laos tomorrow. The guest house we stayed in was pretty little chalet, I liked it a lot, until I saw gigantic crawlies inside the bathroom and outside the bedeoom................ (and I continued to meet with their other family members through the journey to Luang Prabang) That's why you will not get to see any pictures of the guest house here... I just wanted to wrap myself up with the blanket.

Finally it was morning... we packed up and crossed the river to Laos. The Lao immigretion was very simple, just a small shack next to the river. I was supposed not having to pay for the Visa (for 15 days stay) but as I was going to stay for 16 days, I was asked to pay 30USD, which later on I realised I only have to pay few dollars to extend my stay, but they never mentioned it to me.

.. :( No baggage checking... we were officially in Laos after some chaos at the "immigration office". We had prebooked our boat ticket to Luang Prabang in Chiang Mai, so there were people waiting us there to bring us to the boat.

The whole boat journey took 2 days, with an overnight stop at Pakbeng. The boat was like a fishing boat modified to carry passengers. Medium size, with wooden benches on the 2 sides and small walkway in between. One thing for sure, it was overloaded. There wasn't enough seats for everyone, and there were annoying, inconsiderate people that just refused to share the benches with others, so it ended up some of the people had to sit on the floor (which I realised later was much more better than sitting on the bench for 7 hours), but you get to stretch your legs.

 

The view alongthe river was spectacular, I will strongly recommend those who is traveling to Luang prabang from huay xai to take the slow boat instead of the speed boat, simply because you will have more time to enjoy the view, and maybe interact with the locals. I tried my first Laolao on the boat, a local ricewine, contained 45% alcohol, very strong for me, but the local guys we met on the boat insisted I should drink it.... oh well :) It was not bad, at least it warmed me up as it started to rain and got colder when the wind blew in. When we arrived in Pakbeng, it was raining cats and dogs. Many guest house operators waiting at the dock, and wanted you to stay in their guesthouse. WE were luckly because we had booked our guesthouse in Huay Xai, otherwise it would be difficult for us to pick one while it was raining so hard. The path to our guesthouse became really muddy, and slippery, and I was wearing my flip flop. Not the best shoes to walk in.

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Huay Xai
photo by: Stevie_Wes