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How many people can you fit on one slow boat?

sunny 26 °C
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.

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The day started off well enough...best ever banana pancake for breakfast! It was downhill from there...

First of all, we missed the pick up truck to take us down to the boat. So we had to walk down with all our stuff. It was all downhill though so not too bad.

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What was bad was the state of the boat when we got there...crazy number of people all over the place! We got there an hour before the boat was scheduled to leave but it was packed already. Somehow we managed to find two seats...still not quite sure how we managed that! There was no room for our bags under the boards where we were sitting so I took mine to the engine room at the back of the boat (where there were so many people I could barely squeeze through) and Jo had hers thrown on the roof!! Over the course of the next hour, more and more people were piled onto the boat. As there were no seats left, these people were sent to the back to sit on the floor by the engine or had to sit on the floor at the front of the boat.

It got worse and worse and finally some westerners who had the misfortunate of being in the back of the boat snapped! Demanding to speak to the captain, they were adamant that we needed another boat. It was clear by this point that only one boat was being put on this day when two were put on yesterday for the same number of people. Of course, as we were all on one boat, and it hadn't yet sunk, the captain had little incentive to put on another. And so we started to move!! To escape the horrendous engine room at the back, people filtered down the aisle to plonk themselves on cushions making the whole boat ridiculously overcrowded...it was going to be a long 8 hours for us all.

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But we made it to Luang Prabang in one piece. And after being ripped off for a (very short) ride in a tuk-tuk, we arrived at our hostel.

In the evening we went to Utopia bar with some people who introduced themselves to us at the hostel by showing us the empty bottle of whisky they had just finished...the empty bottle had a snake and a scorpian in it!! Yuck! A gin and tonic and a couple of big bottles of Beer Laos each and we were ready for bed...it had been a long day!

Tam xx

Posted by Tam-Jo 05:55 Archived in Laos Tagged luangprabang

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Sounds like you were taking your lives in your hands that day - just glad we didn't know about it until afterwards! Keep safe girls. xx

by Mum and Dad (Ven)

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