Well we arrived in the morning after our overnight train, the overnight train was not so bad, but we didn;t get much sleep despite the beds being a lot bigger than we were used to. When we got there it was a great relief that the water festival was over. The first night there we stayed in a hostel which was a little bit more expensive that the usual 2 pound each we pay but it was nice because it had a pool. The first thing we did was go for a wander and booked a trek for the following day and our transport to loas and that was pretty much it.
The next day we went trekking- well it wasn't really trekking we only did 30 minutes of walking. We were with 6 other people which were all very different, an old man and his thai wife was interesting. But luckily there were 2 young english girls , AMy and Hannah so all was not that bad. First we went bamboo rafting which was interesting, especially as we kept crashing, lol. Then we went elephant trekking- which was good- our elephant had a mind of its own. Tess dropped her flip flop and we thought that the elephant was going to eat it, but it actually picked it up with its trunk and gave it back- which was really cute. After the trekking we went for some lunch and visited some hill tribe villages and saw them making some scarf's, can't believe that it takes them 3 days just to make one.
Obviously we couldn't be somewhere and not hit the market- lol so that evening we went to the market- however we you will all be glad to know that we didn't buy much.
We left Chang mai in the morning on our way to loas- we booked a trip that took us there and included all the night e had to stop. We got on the mini bus full of people who we were going to be with for the next 3 days and it wasn't looking too hopeful- they were all couples. But all was not as bad as we feared as Chris and Rachel were really chatty so we stuck with them pretty much.
After a 6 hour drive we got to our overnight stop in Chang Kong- we were just staying here overnight and in the morning we would cross the river over to laos. it was a really small place with lots of bugs- lol.
Loas- The slow boat
The following morning we got our headed over the rive to Loas- first we all had to depart from Thailand which was very easy. Then we were told to just get on any boat across the river and to be honest they all looked like they were about to fall apart. When we got into Loas it was pretty easy for us as we had already arranged our visa's- but it was really annoying as we had to pay to enter as it was a Sunday- How stupid. Once we had all arrived we then headed to get on the slow boat- we had been advised to buy a cushion as the seats were not very comfy- so we new it wasn't going to be a great journey. When we got on the boat it was pretty full- lots of travellers and some locals. They had to put more seats down the middle, and we were on one of them . Buy the time everyone was on the boat it was very cramped. Only 6 hours of this to go! WOOOO. Everyone on the boat seemed to be in a big party mood and were singing etc and as you can imagine this meant a ot of annoying people- which is not great when you are on a slow boat with no escape.
Wehn we arrived at Pak Beng where we would be staying for the night- we had to hike up a hill with all our stuff- which was not fun and involved people having to help me and Tess. Then we went to find a guesthouse which was pretty nice. We then found out that they only have electricity until 10pm so we would get pretty hot in the night as the fan would stop working in the middle fo the night. We didn't do much in Pak Beng as there is nothing really there to do and the sole purpose of the town was for everyone to stay the night between getting the slow boat.
The next day we got up- it was an early start as we wanted to make sure we got a good seat on the boat today. we were the first one there and some strange local people were trying to tell us to get on a boat but it wasnt the same boat that we came on so we were unsure, so all the loacal started to laugh at us., in the end we got on the boat and it was the right one so it was ok. The boatwas much smaller than the day beofr but it was ok beacuse there seemd to be less people toady. Although 2 hours into outr journey we stopped next to a boat full of local people and they all got on our boat with lots of bags fo rice. This made our boat very very full and tipping on said which meant and one point of the journey we got soaked. It did not feel safe at all. But we got there in one peice which was good.