Eastward Bound- to Laos and Beyond!!
Trip Start Sep 28, 2005
4Trip End Sep 27, 2006
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It was quite a journey to get into Laos and to our first destination- Luang Phrabang......
Left Chang Mai and took a 6 hour bus up to a small town called Huay Xai on the Thai side of the border. We stayed there that night, in a room that was Geko Central!! But by now we had grown quite fond of the scaley little blighters and the little 'Tut Tut' sound they make to let you know their lurking in your room while you try to sleep!! Spent the night in a local resteraunt eating, drinking, watching DVD's and chatting to the owner. Was quite a pleasant evening all together!!
Up early the next morning to cross the boarder and get our boat to Luang Phrabang. The boarder crossing was long and tiresome, in the sweltering heat. We were dreading the thought of the two-day, one night journey. We knew we would be eight hours on a small wooden bench for both days- now that's gotta hurt your bum!! To our surprise, it turned out to be a great laugh!! We boarded our boat, and headed off along the Mekong River.
We managed to sit down beside a group of people who were loud, rowdy and in search of beer- we thought perfect, we can be friends (you know who you are guys!!) And here came our first introduction to Beer Lao and all it's wonders- a friend we became very well acquainted with throughout our travels!! The time flew by in a haze of drinking game after drinking game. Perfect way to kill a few spare hours and a few spare brain cells.
Spent that night in a tiny village by the Mekong River, that had no electricity. Had dinner in a little restaurant and spent the night drinking by the river and having a singsong with a big group of people from the boat- bit different from a usual night in Dublin! With sore heads and queasy stomachs, our second day on the boat was somewhat less boisterous!
Arrived in beautiful Luang Prabang, where we stayed for four nights. You can really see the French influence in a lot of the buildings. The people are so friendly and helpful, never pushy in any way, just laid back about life- which suits the laid back life of a backpacker perfectly!!
There was a big festival in the town one of our nights there for the full moon, so it turned out to be a really good time to be here. All the locals from the surrounding areas gathered in the town centre. They all made boats- large and small- and sent them sailing down the Mekong with candles on board. Really nice night, such a cool atmosphere. Bit strange though as we all ended up drinking beer in the temple grounds, chatting to all the locals and the monks (or using sign language as the case may be!).
Next stop Vang Vieng.................