Trip Start Apr 23, 2007
56Trip End Ongoing
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after crossing the Mekong river, to the loas boarder, the boarder control was not at all what i had expected. Literaly just a shake on the opposite side of the river, with no sings or gaurds, they really just let you do what ever you deem best, jsut walk into their county or pay to get a visa. needless to say we opted for the latter. we had already booked our transport down to Louang Phabang, in the form of the l'slow boat', these massive 50 poeple vessels chug down to mekong at a depressing rate, and take two days to arrive at Louang Phabang
"these five metre terrors accomodate for up to eight passagers...crash helmets and life jackets are handed out before journeys.. but speedboats are by no mean safe. The Mekong has some particulary tricky stretches, with narrow channels threading through rapids and whirlpools, and can be particularly rough during late rainy season (aounds the time holly and i were traveling). Although the drivers swear by their navigational skills, fatal accidents occure with alarming frequency. think twice about taking a speed boat"
Two tickets please!!!
Given the time saving we would make on the speed boat, we were pretty much sold instantly. well i say 'we', i was, and spent 20 minutes convincing holly likewise.:-). id hear about these boats before, as the likes of gmmon (uni mate) had previosuly dared the speed boats, but it wasnt until i saw them with my own eyes that i really got an appreciation for what they were all about
Speed would be the key word here, this thing flew at a concerningly quick rate, added to the fact we were sat no highter than 20 centremetres from the water. It made for a very thriling experience. continuiously dodging logs, radips, whirlpools and yes, dead animals. yummy. one of the most concerning things abouty his leg of our trip, was seeing what people put into the river. We saw toilets that flushed into it, food waste being dumped in there, adn to make things worse, we'd travel a few km's down stream and see familys washing in it. totally messed up. But i cannot knock the views and lanscapes that surrounds the northern sections of the Mekong. its totally awsome.