So it's 8pm and we are just leaving Pai to go to Luang Prabang which will take us 2 days in total! Wowzer!
Pai has been lovely. It is really really chilled out compared to both Bangkok and Chiang Mai! It is such a tiny beautiful little place. We booked out first nights accomidation before we got here and it ended up being at least a 15 minute walk out of the main town. We decided we would stay there the one night and then look for somewhere closer in to town. We saw these bamboo huts across the river that we thought would be nice. That was until I saw the bridge you had to cross! It was completely made out of bamboo and bloody wobbled and beant so much that I was s***ting myself! But I gave it a go and I got to the other side. We found a lovely little circle of huts called Pai Country Huts and booked two nights there. It was lovely with its own little porch, hammock and and extension for the bathroom.
On our second day we hired some bicycles and headed to some natural hot springs. The cycle was a killer. I did not look happy lol but the scenery was incrediable! All you could see we're mountains, padi fields and bamboo buildings, AMAZING! On our cycle we came across a placed called hot springs resort where you could use their pool for £2 and it was lovely. We stayed there for a few hours and then continued our cycle in the boiling heat, up and down hills until we came across the natural springs. At the source of the spring the temperature was 80 degrees and you could buy eggs to boil and eat for your lunch. Attempt number three we finally mastered it! Further down stream you could get in the spring and no word of a lie it was hotter then I have my bath!
Day number three we thought that we would hire a moped after realising how hilly Pai is. We headed to a place called memorial bridge that was built in world war 2 buy the Thai people for the japanese. As people already know I have a fear off bridges you can see through (Which I have had to face a lot whilst being here) well this bridge was scary. It was made of planks of wood that were about 3 inches apart and had pieces broken all over. It was really good to be there tho and I am really glad we went. After that we made a plan of action and decided to head to two of the local waterfalls that were very pretty. On the way home about a mile and a half from Pai we had a puncture! We decided to stop at a chemist as the people who work there always speak good English. The women there got straight on the phone and called the local garage ( bless her). This lad arrived on a moped who was about 15 and gave us the keys to his bike to ride to the garage and he took ours. All good so far. Well this lad just went and we had no idea where he had gone with our bike so we were bricking it thinking he had stole our bike. We headed back to the chemist and the women said she would call him and told us he would be about 20 minutes. That was the longest 20 minutes of our life! Any way bless the lad he arrived back with our bike, our inner tube that was shredded and his boss. We were so relieved and it only cost is 100 baht (£2)!
Day four (today) we have just chilled out at another local pool called fluid and had a really relaxing day as we had to wait untill 8pm with nowhere to go as we are leving Pai and heading to Laos. Had a chat with a lady who was there which we met when we came to Pai as she has done this journey before. She gave us some ideas on where to stay and places that are worth going which was really helpful. She was so lovely! Just on the bus now which is not for the faint hearted although it is a lot better so far than the white knuckle journey from Chiang mai to Pai! But we have only been on the bus for 30 minutes!
The bus was a nightmare took longer than we thought and when we arrived to the first port of call, Chiang Khong, it was awful! It was infested with ants and really really dirty! Did not have a good night sleep. We got there at 3 in the morning and we had to bet up at 6:30! On the other bus that we kind of traveled with (party bus) were a group of lads that were so hammered and proper british! They were a little loud but were lovely. We got to the port to cross the border at about 9 and were in laos for about 9:15 but then we had to get our visa that took about an hour. Once we had our visa we had to wait until midday to get on the slow boat. We were waiting on the British lads lol! Funny. The first day on the boat was brilliant we had a very sociable group and we all had a laugh with lots of alcohol involved. In fact we drunk the boat dry and had to make a stop for more beer! The first day took 7 hours! We stayed in Pak beng which was very strange. It reminded Ben of the lawless pirate town in pirates of the caribbean which I thought was rather funny. We met 3 other couples on the boat so we all headed to find a place to stay tigether and then went out for food. We then had another day on the boat which was a lot more chilled out although Jamie did consume a whole bottle of brandy on the journey. Arrived at Luang Prabang and again tried to find somewhere to stay together. An hour later we finally found somewhere, dumped our bags and went out for dinner. In Luang Prabang all the bars shut at 11 so the only place that stays open until 3 am is the local bowling alley. What a laugh that was. We had a game of bowling, played drinking games, knicked a bowling shoe and came back to our guesthouse at 2 am and woke everyone up not realising there was a 12 o'clock curfew! Pmsl