We were up early as we wanted to make sure we got on the slow boat up the Mekong. It is a well trodden path & has been used for many years, so we knew that it may be pretty popular. We walked to the other end of town & were at passport control by 7.30am. Shame they didn't open until 8. We sat & waited & when the time came got stamped out of Thailand. We caught a longboat across the river & as easy as that had arrived in Laos. We were first again to Laos passport control but this time we had to wait about 30 mins for them to process our visas. Very happy we came early. It was a short Tuk Tuk ride from there to the port. We bought our tickets on the boat & were aware of the officials scam to try & get more money. Thank god for the intraweb. We had plenty of time to kill so had banana pancakes for breaky & grabbed a sandwhich for the trip. We boarded the boat at 10.30am with a scheduled departure of 11. Unfortunately we didn't set sail for an hour after this as we were waiting for a tour group to arrive. Once they were on board we set sail. Full of Americans & British the group started drinking straight away. As the trip went on they got noisier which was fine, they are young & can have their fun. What's inexcusable is that all the English guys proceeded to throw their empty beer bottles & cigarette butts overboard when they had finished. It kind of destroyed the trip for us. What sort of people come to another country & do something they would never do at home. Absolute cussing morons. We wish them all bad karma in the future. These idiots aside the ride was very beautiful, but very long. 7 hours in total on one of these boats is more than enough. It was awesome to see the jungle & farming villages from aboard a boat. Not the most comfortable as they cram people on & you are sitting on car seats with not too much room. It's better than the 2 alternatives; a 13 hour bus ride on bumpy roads, or a speed boat which provides crash helmet & life vest (we were warned to avoid these at all costs). We finally arrived at our overnight stop of Pak Beng & found our accommodation. We had pre booked a bamboo hut which overlooked the boat dock & river. Very simple but just perfect for the surroundings. We sat on our balcony for a bit enjoying the view but as it was 7pm decided we should get dinner before it was too late. The town is tiny with only 2 real streets. Along these streets the locals have set up shops, bakeries, restaurants & guesthouses which would give them a good income. It was full of charm & we wish we had 2 nights here just to relax. We picked a restaurant & had some buffalo steak for dinner. It tasted nice but was a little rare for us. Following this we grabbed some beers & headed back to the cabin to sit & listen to the sounds of the jungle. We then lowered the mosquito net for bed & slept in preparation for another boat trip tomorrow.