AsiaLaosPakbeng

My 20 hour boat trip from Luang Prabang to Huayxai

Pakbeng Travel Blog

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I think these are some of the available chalets in Pak Beng

After spending a delightful night at Pakbeng, enjoying a lovely dinner with a bunch of people from different parts of the world and going through the night without electricity rummaging through the darkness for my torchlight (courtesy of our guesthouse), we woke up the next day with hearts (and bodies) ready to endure yet another 10 full hour of slowboat ride. With pain in my backside not yet subsided from yesterday's long hour boat trip, I walked down the road to find a place to have breakfast and took a few snapshots of the area. I ended up in a place called Pak Beng Cafe which was quite lovely with an amazing view of the Mekong river. I had some frenchtoast and an orange juice which was superb.

I met up with Jamie and Hamish around 8am at the pier and not long after that, we began our second leg of the trip to Huayxai, the final stop before exiting Laos for Thailand. The boat that we took that day was no better than the one we took yesterday. But at least we were experienced passengers now so I did what I was envying the locals on the boat yesterday, take the back seat and lie down. Yup, I had the first class version of the dilapidated looking boat - THE FLOOR! I was not alone, apparently, the other girls who were on the same boat as me yesterday thought of the same thing too (we girls are soooo clever). I even found a great way to reduce the vibration while lying back on the wall. Using my rucksack, I position it so that the bumpside will fit snuggly to the 200 degree angle wall hence making the inside part of the back looks comfortable enough to lie on (its kinda hard to explain it here.

.. try looking at the picture to see what I mean). I managed to catch up with my sleep that I lost yesterday night due to the absence of the cooling effect from the fan in my room - bliss.

The journey from Pak Beng to Huayxai was surprisingly not as bad as yesterday (perhaps because this time I was ready with how 10 hours actually feels like). The sceneries as I said before in my other blog was absolutely stunning. The towering mountains majestically standing on both sides of the great Mekong made me realise just how very little we are and just how great mother nature is. From time to time I could spot some locals in their farms trying to make a living by investing their energy to earth. I could also see children playing in the water making me think just how precious life is -- how I wish I was a child again.

10 hours after leaving the port of Pak Beng we finally reach our destination - Huayxai. The time was already 6.45pm and the sun was slowly setting in the horizon creating a beautiful golden effect on the river making silhoutte out of the mountains. It was simply stunning.

Huayxai, unlike Pak Beng is a lot more developed but not as developed as Luang Prabang. It was our final stop before reentering Thailand the next day into Chiang Kong. We spend the night at a lovely place owned by a 62 year old man who speaks fluent English and French. He told us that he used to be a teacher and when he was young, the then communist government of Laos sent him to France to study Maths for 5 years. Such interesting man and very humble too. I will write about his place in another review. There is an ATM machine in the little town of Huayxai (I heard it is the only one too that takes plus, cirrus, and other labels on your cards). I was rich again and treated my friends dinner.

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photo by: borneonikieta