Wednesday morning we woke up at 5:30 to get up and see the monks walk down the street. But the rain was chucking it down so Rachel decided to stay in bed. I through some clothes on and headed down, got to the front door of our guest house and it was locked….. guess that was a sign that I should go back to bed for a bit. So we got up a little bit later, grabbed breakfast and headed to our 2-day slow boat.
We walked to the travel shop where we'd bought the tickets and a guy escorted us to…across the street! The boat was waiting for us in the river. We boarded and the boat set off, and it was definitely a 'slow' boat. It sailed down the river slowly but the scenery was lovely. We had food, read our books and had a few card games (in fact lots I was determined to eventually beat Graeme!). we had a table so it was perfect to play cards. Every now and again the boat pulled to the bank to stop, we kept thinking we'd arrived, but I think it was just dropping off goods to the locals.
We eventually arrived in Pakbeng about 6pm (after 9 hours) and we pushed through the crowds of people trying to sell us guest houses to the one we had pre-booked. We checked in then popped out for some food. We had an Indian from across the street mmm but not as nice as back home. Then headed back for an early night. During the night I woke for the loo, when I turned the light on there was loads of beetle bug things crawling around everywhere scuttling around I freaked. They were even on the loo roll! Graeme then went loo after me and said he didn't see anything. They must have crawled away before him.
We woke early on the Thursday to get back on the slow boat to our second destination. We had a quick banana milkshake in a café then got on, to find it wasn't leaving for another 45mins so we could've had a big breakfast. It set off again. We didn't have a table this time so more difficult to play cards, but we still had a go on a little pull out shelf. I blame this for me loosing cards again to Graeme!
We eventually arrived at our second destination Huay Xai after another 9 hours. We checked into our hotel, headed out for a quick lunch, then had a catch up with people online before heading to bed. This morning (Friday) we got up headed out for a quick bit and to get some sandwiches for lunch then got back to the hotel. We then got escorted to the checkout terminal, exchange our Laos money to Thai for probably half the value, then checked out of Laos and got shoved onto a little boat. We headed across the river then got of the other side and people pointed up a little hill, we got to the top and checked into Thailand again. We then wondered aimlessly until someone grabbed us, through us in the back of there van and then drove us to the middle of no where, where there was a nice hotel. We waited there for around an hour then our mini-bus came and picked us up. See I knew it would be easy getting around just wonder around aimlessly until someone takes pity on you and picks you up.
Conveniently the mini bus dropped us right outside of a guesthouse in Chiang Mai, but since it looked all right and was a lot cheaper then the ones recommended in Lonely planet we went for it. .
So far it's very nice, the lady here is very friendly and has good tour prices so we've booked a tour for tomorrow to do zip lining. We went for a wander looking at several temples and had some nice grub.