Down the Mekong
Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
39Trip End Mar 07, 2007
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We stayed overnight in Pak Beng, a tiny village that seemed to more than double in population when our boat pulled in. I shared a room with a German guy (Sven, who made me look short with his 6'5" dreadlocked head), and the two of us ended up rooming together for over a week. Cuts those massive $5 guesthouse costs in half. The second day on the river was more of the same. Every now and then we'd see a speedboat roar by with a few passengers holding on for their lives, and feel even better about taking the slow boat. Over the course of the trip, in addition to Sven, I met people from Canada (Gina, Peter, Ki, and Jeremy), Portugal (Ana, Ze), America (Chris), Holland (Edith), and Ireland (Miriam). Hope I didn't leave anybody out. We all ended up sticking together to varying degrees in Luang Prabang, which made the whole experience so much better.
Speaking of Luang Prabang, what a great city. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only entire city in SE Asia with that distinction I believe. Lots of French colonial architecture, french food, but still feels a lot like Laos. Speak of food, we found a couple of places where for 5000 kip (about 50 cents) you could heap as much food from a vegetarian buffet as possible into a big bowl. Really good food too. Wish every town had something like it. The city also has a great night market, bookstore (with nightly film screenings) and a place (like Pai) where you can rent a room and a DVD, which we took advantage of one lazy evening. As you can tell I miss movies.
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