Chiang Mai - Laos
Chiang Kong was our first stop.
Picked up by a local mini bus from the B.M.P. Got in van to find ourselves with an annoyingly rowdy bunch of lads and giggly girls. Felt like we were entering a young 18-30's holiday. It's surprising how noticeable a 5 years age difference is. Once over this we actually became quite fond of them all. The journey in the minibus was a rocky rocky road. It didn't help with Sarah nearly puking and me nearly wetting myself. We arrived at Chiang Kong at 1am and stayed in a shed for the night (Boom Guest House).
The following day we had to cross the border into Laos (Houeixai) Crossing the border involved climbing into a Wooden canoe in the sweltering heat with rucksack and hand-luggage, then walking up a steep hill for the border to check our visas. Unfortunately we hadn't signed out of Thailand so we then had to turn around, walk down the hill, pay money for boat and lug rucksack back onto boat. We did see the funny-side once mission completed. We then arrived at the slow boat. It wasn't as cramped as we were expecting. Every one had a chair ( a car seat that you could pick up and place anywhere). We were sat with the group We travelled with and got a bit merry on whiskey as we watched the beautiful world go by! It was absolutely beautiful and a great laugh. The slow boat lasted 6 hours and we arrived at Pakbeng. The guesthouse we stayed in was great. The bar allowed us to play our Own music and the 10 of us partied on a massive balcony overhanging the river with green mountains and river as our view. Heaven.
The following day we had another 6 hours on the slow boat from Pakbeng to Luang Probang. It was a much more relaxed journey with the three of us quietly reading and taking in the views. We parted (snuck off) from the group here and and got onto a 7 hour, cold, cramped, coach trip to Vaing-veng. Yet another great couple of days.