Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang Travel Blog› entry 8 of 32 › view all entries
Yesterday was one of the craziest days we've had. we had booked a slow boat trip leaving 9am yesterday from Chiang Khong, Thailand down the Mekong into Luang Prabang, Laos. but, for the first time EVER, the river was too shallow so all the slow boats were cancelled, of course with no refund. so after being trapped at the border crossing for about 3 hours trying to get our passports back from the immigration office, our Laos visas sorted out and avoiding scams because people were trying to make us pay for a bus to Luang Prabang when we already paid for the boat, someone finally arranged a bus for a group of about 20 of us for free(minus what we'd been ripped off for the boat). then things got interesting. about 20 minutes down the road there was a road block and all we could see is smoke in the distance down the road. after about 15 minutes of waiting they let us drive past a tanker in flames that could have exploded any second. about an hour further our bus started veering off the road every now and then and it appeared the driver was losing contol of the steering. so we pulled over to find that the right front shock absorber mount had broken off completely. about 2 hours, some rope, and a scooter drive chain later, the bus drivers managed to tie the shock back into place. we then drove about 15km/h for another two hours to find a mechanic shop where they managed to weld the mount back together. at some point before the initial pull over one of the local laos people on the bus couldnt hold himself together and managed to puke all over the inside of the onboard toilet room, which was just a room with a 1 inch hole/drain in the floor. later, around 7pm when it was getting dark, two other laos guys came on board and the bus drivers unknowingly put there luggage inside the toilet room, the laos guys were in for a surprise later. after the welding we managed to make it to luang prabang at around 5am this morning after a few stops. the whole trip of about 450km took just under 20 hours and we were trapped for the morning in luang prabang with no guesthouses open early enough to book a room. fortunately every morning at around 6am about 200 local buddhist monks walk the streets of luang prabang to collect alms (rice donations) in which they all share to eat for the day so it worked out that we came right on time to see that. we've now found a decent room for 70000 kip which works out to about $4.25 canadian each for a night.
all in all its been an interesting day
Today we went to this massive waterfall on a slwo boat with the same friends we met on the bus (we were quite bonded after that trip) along with some other recruits. Waterfall was called Koung XI (google image it) and is one of biggest in Laos. Seriosuly impressive with all these dfiferent tiers of waterfalls you can swim in. First tier had this big rope swing and a small ledge you could dive in on, tried to do back flps off of it and noone got it, always ended on a back slap haha. After we went to the actual main waterfall and decided to climb to the top where you could go swimming in the top pool before the main waterfall, steep climb up, going in and out of mini waterfalls, bouldering up the thing and across it, such a blast. Got to the top and was blown away, you could literally swim to the ledge and look down on the entire thing. Then this crazy guy cimbed this tree infront of the pool and jumped in, probably around 10m high, so of course me dave and some others decided to tree, i got a video of dave doing it, im sure it will be posted at soem point. Anyways on way home we were all heaqding back on the slow boat and Ben this kiwi decides to jump out and try to swim ashore in the mekong, we were like 1 km away and he did it, made it 20m then the current set in, driver kept going, started to get worried as he wasnt going anywhere haha anyways 10 mins after we docked he showed up, made it to shore, crazy bugger. Meeting for some dinner now and madness of Vang Vieng tommorow, cant wait, talk soon