Journey from Laos into Thailand via the Chiang Kong border after Muang Sing hilltribe homestay.... Left Luang Namtha midday ish afer enjyoing a free hot shower in a cafe in Luang Namtha (was in desperate need after cycling and village homestay!!). The travel shop had told me the bus was at 1.30pm so I arrived at the bus station about 12.45 and was told the bus actually left 15 mins ago...and there wasnt another until tomorrow. Was absolutely gutted as meant I had to waste a night in Luang Namtha where I didnt have anything else I needed to do...then 2 seconds later the ticket guy shouted 'Run run - bus' - so I sprinted, arms flalling in the air, rucksack bouncing on my back and managed to jump on this random local bus that has passed by and was going my direction, a real spot of luck!! Met a lovely thai girl on the bus, Mary was her english name, so she was also heading to Chaing Rai, where I was going which was massive relief as she could keep me right at the border etc....got the local bus to the border which was hilarious as the bus was full of bags of bananas, saucepans, all randon stuff haha, so just had to throw my rucksack on top on the bananas and sit back and relax! I had been told the border shut at 4pm and I wasnt going to get there before 4pm but thankfully it actually shut at 6pm and Mary helped me to navigate my way across etc in time befpre it shut.
Crossing from northern Laos into Northern Thailand at the Chiang Kong boder is pretty cool as you actually get on a wee boat that takes you the 5 min boat ride over the Mekong, to cross from one country into another. You get stamped out of Laos, go across in the boat and get your Thai visa on the other side. It was 5.20pm by the time I had got through etc, the last bus to Chaing Rai left at 5pm, so had missed it. Mary was getting picked up by her husband and also heading to Chaing Rai so they very very kindly gave me a lift in the car for the 1hr 45 min journey, which was absolutely great as meant I didnt have to waste a night on the border, with very little I wanted to do there. So I was very very thankful to Mary and her husband, even though he did eat chicekn feet in the car and make me feel a bit ill, haha, they were absolute gems so thank you both!! xox