We left Pai on the tuesday and headed back to Chiang Mai for the night. We only came back to Chiang Mai to catch a bus to Chiang Kong. This was the place where we would be catching the boat over to Laos. After 7 hours on a bus and a bag of cockroaches (someone's dinner i think) we got to Chiang kong. This place was like a ghost town. It's also a bit of a dive but it's only for 1 night. We stayed in these little bamboo huts recommended by the lonely planet book. Not a good choice really. We had a cockroach, a heard of giant ants and slugs sharing it with us. Defiantly a night for the mosquito net.
Basically here's the plan. We had to get up early that morning to buy a boat ticket to laos, once in laos get a visa, once that was done make our way to get a boat down the mekong river which was going to take 2 days to reach Luang Prabang. After the first day on the boat we stopped off at a little town called Pak Beng. We made some friends on the boat and all agreed to stay at the same guesthouse. After checking out one place which wanted to cram 10 of us in to 3 rooms we moved to find another place which was really nice. Unfortunately for me, mark and some canadian called Brandon we had to share a double bed together. Not to worry it was cheap and nice. All 10 of us went out for dinner and drinks that night and had a really good time. All the electricity goes off at 11 so we got some takeaways and chilled on our balcony. The blackout was quite fun really. You here all the generators shutting down and then it's pitch black. Quite like the war i imagine. The following day we got all got back on our viking style boat and set off for Luang Prabang. 7 hours on this boat and the travelling conditions. Some laos women in front of us was worried that we were going to roll the boat so we gave her a life jacket to put on, which seemed to please her i think. I think everyone at some point would off been worried about it toppling over and there certainly wasn't enough fife jackets for everyone.
Woo!! Land ahoy. We arrived in Luang Prabang safely.
Here's a bit of history about Laos. The french use to run laos. The capital use to be Luang Prabang but it's now Vientiane. It's the most bombed country in the world. From 1965 to 1973 the us devastated eastern and north-eastern laos with non stop carpet bombings to counter the presence of the North Vietnamese in the country. At one stage they were dropping 2.2 million of bombs a day here. They eat absolutely anything here, even dogs.
Luang Prabong is a tiny city. Being that it use to be the capital it comes at quite a shock when you first see it. It's really pretty as it has such a huge french architectural influence to it. You could quite easily be in a little village in the south of france. We stayed here for 3 nights and that was long enough to see it all. It's a great place but unfortunately there isn't enough to do. As we got there late afternoon we just went out for dinner and drinks. Everywhere closes at 11 30 due to the drinking laws out here except for some bowling place, so it was drunken bowling until 2 in the morning. The following day we hired some bikes out and explored the city. Off we went in to the hills and on to dirt tracks. Quite good fun really. Saw the national stadium which isn't up to much really. By now we were all soaking wet. All it's done since we have got here is rain, rain, rain. We went back to get changed in to our swimming gear and went to this most amazing waterfall. It was unbelievable. To look at you would think it was man made but it is all natural. It had 3 different levels all with turquoise water to go swimming in. If only it was sunny and not raining it would of been paradise.
The third day everyone was tired and just wanted to chill out as we had seen everything. My day consisted off internet, pro evo 8 (what a find this place was) and watching 2 games off football.
The next morning we had to be up at 5 30 to get the 6 30 bus to Vang Vieng. This is my next stop so i will inform you about this place sometime soon.
At the moment were on our way here, high up in the mountains surrounded by clouds and some breath taking scenery.
Until next time