18. Golden Triangle

Trip Start Jan 26, 2007
Trip End May 31, 2008

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, April 22, 2007

We were going to head to Chang Rai for the day before getting the slow boat down the Mekong River into Luang Prabang in Laos but we heard so many bad stories about the slow boat. Seemingly it is the slowest thing on the river. It would take two days to get from the border to Luang Prabang and it would be the most uncomfortable boat trip. There was talk of a few people who didn't even have a seat on the boat as it doubles as a cargo boat as well, sometimes there is too much cargo for the number of people so people only have standing room. Most of the people we met told us to try to head another way into Laos. We couldn’t get an overland route so we just decided to fly with Lao Airlines (dodgiest airline in the world). So we headed up to Chang Rai for a day trip to pass the day.

We did a few things on this trip. We saw a few temples, went to the golden triangle which is the border of Laos, Thailand and Burma, elephant trekking (bad experience...won’t say much more than that) and then finally bamboo rafting down a river. We had our diver/pilot kind of man at the head of the raft, Jenny and Arlene jumped on to the only seat of the thing and a bamboo pole was handed to me when i jumped on the back (not a good thing to do) as we were pushed down the river. I had to steer the thing at the back while poor old Won tried to dodge the rocks that i was forcing us to go into because i hadn’t a clue what i was supposed to do. I even lost the bamboo pole at one stage because i was trying (badly) to get us around a sharp bend in the river and the pole got stuck in the soft river bed. Damn it! Jenny saved the day though and jumped in after it.

At the end of the rafting (when we were doing so well to not fall in) there were loads of locals in the river just itching to throw water at us. We got absolutely soaked for the last 200m or so. It was a great way to end the day before the flight......(hope for the best). Off to fly dodgy airlines next....hope for the best...
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