Journey from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang: two day slow boat

IMG_20151007_154453  With my phone buzzing at 4.45am to get up, I showered and ate some toast before walking to the bus terminal to catch the 6am old-looking, simple bus to Chiang klong (65 baht). On the bus, we were the only westerners but managed to communicate with a mum and daughter from Lao. They were so adorable. With their little English and our little Thai, we found out about them.FB_IMG_1444267005487

From here, we jumped into a tuk tuk (50 baht each) to the Thai immigration. Once we changed our money, we simply walked through the border without any complications, where we needed to get a coach (25baht) to the Lao immigration. The border was fully with people with no clear signs on how to purchase a visa on arrival. After talking to some people, we queued in the right line first to give our passports and applications the joined the left queue. There were a bunch of Chinese, who were trying to skip the line. However, this failed for them as they showed each passport in order, where there was a $35 fee.FB_IMG_1444267035986

We walked through passport control, where a man offered us a songtaow to the slow boat. It was 10.30am and we knew the boat was due to leave at 11. After a distant drive, we purchases our tickets to Pakbang (110,000 kip)then dropped our bags off on the boat. We were told that they would not be selling anything on the boat so we got a baguette made for our lunch, which we later found was not true ad you could purchase drinks and snacks onboard.FB_IMG_1444267029720

After an amusing complication of being stuck against some other boats so the locals had to strip down to their underwear and jump in the water and leaving just before 1, we headed to Pakbang. The journey was pretty uneventful, with regular stops to let off some Laos people, and beautiful scenery, floating down the Mekong River.IMG_20151007_135301

By the time we reached Pakbang, the sun had disappeared with darkness filling the air. There were many local hotels advertising rooms, where we stayed in a three bed room. It was pretty basic but had a hot shower and WiFi so for 25,000 kip, it was really cheap.

Once we settled in our room, we went down for dinner, where I had a delicious pineapple fried rice. We walked around to see what this place had to offer, which wasn’t much so we rested for the night.FB_IMG_1444267038702

The hotel owners worked like a military operation, where they banged on our doors at 7.30am to wake up as they wanted us to buy breakfast. We wanted to save some seats on the boat so we weren’t at the back as it was an extremely noisy ride the day before, so we carried our backpacks around 8.30am to the slow boat. Once we got some food for the journey, we waited for the boat to leave.

Again the journey was uneventful. It was amazing to see the scenery as well as people working on the fields and children playing football and swimming.FB_IMG_1444293477547

Once we arrived at the port, a group of us girls got a songtaow to our hostel (50,000 kip each).

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