A Travellerspoint blog

Are we in Laos?

sunny 24 °C
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.


This morning offered us our first views of the Mekong river, and Laos! After somehow managing to skip over Thailand emigration (apparently it all got sorted last night!) we jumped straight in a boat to cross the muddy brown waters of the river and head into the next country. Stepping out onto dry land on the other side Tam was shocked to discover that we were now in Laos (I think she might have been a bit sleep deprived!). We headed into the small metal hut on the riverside that claimed to be Laos immigration. After a bit of queing we figured out where we were supposed to be showing passports etc. and paid the nominal $1 additional weekend charge to get our passports stamped.

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DSCN1359.jpg 010_On_the_Mekong_Day_1.jpg

Miraculously at this point, some random Laos man who was organising our trip to Luang Prabang found us in the crowds of other tourists and led us to various locations in which to wait to get on the slow boat. After eventually walking the plank onto the boat, literally, we found we had to fight to get a couple of seats. But we managed - we're getting seriously ruthless now about seating!! And so began the 7 hour boat trip to Pak Beng, most of which was spent trying to drown out the voices of a particularly irritating few individuals! We managed to soak up the sights along the river (very pretty!) and Tam almost finished a book. But there is really nothing more to report on the journey!

We arrived at Pak Beng at about 6.30pm and found the van that would transport us up to our hotel. We had pretty low expectations about accomodation in Pak Beng, having read several trip advisor reports of basement rooms infested with rats etc. The ride to the hotel didn't give us much hope for anything more - a rickety pickup truck, which us Falangs were squeezed into. Thank God we were so tightly packed in though, as I had to help hold an older man upright on the sharp turns to ensure he didn't fall out the back! We were pleasantly surprised though - clean and comfortable with a balcony restaurant overlooking the river. After a beer Lao, some fried rice and Bob Marley on the sound system we are happy campers!

Jo xxx

Posted by Tam-Jo 20:13 Archived in Laos Tagged mekong

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