Off to Laos we go! we could see Laos from our room over the river. (Thialand and Laos are seperated by a huge chocolate coloured river called The Mekong River) we had already been told that the main boarder crossing that had always been used by tourists was closed. It turns out that there is a brand spanking new crossing about 10k away. So soon enough the lovely little boarder town of Chiang Khong which is littered with guest houses and cute cafes and food stops will become a ghost town as no travellers will have any need to stay with the new bridge being out of town. We spoke to a lady whilst having a coffee in her shop and she said how sad it is for her town now the new bridge is open. We told her the tuktuks were charging 150 each which is about £3 to get to the crossing so she asked her dad to take us and a french man who had tagged along for the ride, so that saved us some money. travelling in style for once, over here it seems everyone has these big pick up trucks, like monster cars, beats a tuktuk ride!
The new crossing has been open less than a week, its just a coach that takes you across the bridge. when you get into Loas you have to fill in some visa forms and then hand them in with your passport before joining a very long que to retrieve it again. But we got lucky because we were the last ones to hand in our passports, and their method of giving them back was to take the passprt on the top of the pile and shout their name out...well that just so happend to be us! haha so we walked past all these cross looking people to get our passport and pay for our visa, not looking smug at all!
Huay Xia is the name of the town at the boarder in Laos where we are staying. For the first time we didnt book ahead so had our guide book to hand wanting to find the guest house that was top rated, well our tuktuk driver who took us into town just so happend by chance to stop out side that very guest house. we got the price down a little and its actually got some amazing views of the Mekong river. Its funny how used to a currency and language you get and then coming into Laos we are having to start over again trying to work out what the currency is and remembering how to say hello and thankyou. Laos people have very little english compared to Thai people so we are getting by with using lots of waving of hands and making up sign language, the locals seem really friendly and are more than happy to take part in some sign language.
There is nothing to do in this little town, its main use is for a stop over before many travellers catch a slow boat back down the Mekong river to a city called Luang Prabang, we will do that two day trip but we are in no rush to get to another city and we have heard great things about a place called Luang Nam Tha which is 4 hours north, so we will head up there first and see what we find. We are going where we fancy and its great!!!