The morning of our crossing over to Laos, we wake up to the sounds of birds, the river, and Mariah Carey. Charlie is downstairs preparing breakfast, and apparently has terrible taste in music. Before we arrived at Charlie's, we were told by One how he was the Waffle King. He makes unlimited waffles and as long as we want them, he'll make them. Great, we're starving. We have our first waffle. Yum, time for the next one. Oh, Charlie has run out of batter and isn't making anymore. Fab. So much for being the waffle king. We grab our packs which are getting heavier by the day, and walk down to the border crossing. Luckily it's only 8am and there aren't many people there. One thing you notice about South East Asia is that they don't do queues. If you aren't quick enough, they'll jump right in ahead of you. We board the little boat and cross over to Laos, where we wait for our visa's, which is a little long but relatively painless. Yay, we've made it to our next country. We meet up with our local tour guide Lit, who has the biggest, cutest smile, and he takes us to our Stray bus, a bright orange minibus, which will be our transport for most of the remaining trip. We pop to the ATM machine to take out some Lao Kip (you cannot get out nor exchange kip outside of Laos). We take out the maximum, 1,000,000 kip (approx. £100) and board our bus. First stop a visit to the Bannamdi village to visit the Lanten tribe. The children our beautiful! Their homes are basic shacks on stilt but we did spot the odd satellite dish. Onto their local waterfall, not the greatest but still impressive minus the death trap you had to walk to get there. Note to self, Birkenstock have the worst grip in history. Back on the stray bus we headed to the border town of Luang Namtha. We checked into our 70's inspired hotel and thought we all needed a cold beer. Whoopsie…one became many. Joining our table was a local Laos's man called Udon who brought bright green gin (we think) to the table. Taking a shot of this stuff was like licking the floor and guzzling petrol at the same time. YUK! It's not pretty. To our amazement Udon had only recently left Temple as he had spent 15 years being a monk, now he's a bar owner enlighten the world with alcohol and dreams of owning his own travel bus. What could make this night more surreal, 'Chinese Disco' of course. Unfortunately, everything in Laos closes at 11pm except for this tiny little gem run by the Chinese Mafia. Imagine a club built for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's oompa lumpa and the jolly green giant gate crashes it. I've never felt so tall in all my life even Rach looked like a giant. What was funny was they were just as interested in us as we of them and wanted photos taken with us. So we spent the night dancing away together listening to the same tunes over and over. One gathered the group together, clapped his hands and declared "that's enough fun for one night" only to received raised eyebrows from us all. Poor Carly had left earlier as she was unwell and managed to get lost for an hour being chased by a few stray dogs in a town only with two main roads. On the way out we thought we'd pick up a late night snack. On offer, deep fried Chicken feet which Graham munched with a smile. What a great introduction to Laos.