I survived, just! We took the bus to Chiang Khong in northern Thailand, stayed overnight and then took the speedboat to Luang Prabbang in Laos because we’re short of time. If you ever find yourself in this part of the world contemplating the 2 day slow boat versus the one day speed boat, take my advice, spend the extra day, take the slow boat!
Here’s a wee shot of the boat we were travelling on:
Yes, there were 8 people in it. Yes, we had about 14 inches of space each. Ok, I exagerate slightly, it might have been 18 inches, and there was a small pillow. 6 hours on a wooden plank being battered over the river at about 70 km/hour. Meanwhile, the slow boat passengers were wandering up and down, playing a board game or two, socialising, meeting fellow travellers, enjoying a cool beer. The engine on our boat was so damned loud we all wore ear plugs and deaf people would have struggled signing to each other!
However, the view made it almost worth it!
Then the sun set, which nearly sealed the deal…
Note I said almost and nearly, still take the slow boat. It doesn’t matter what you have to get to or what type of schedule you’re trying to keep. If you can’t spare the day, fly, you’re just going to have to trust me on this one!
In other news, I’m beginning to win the war with the mosquitos. I wouldn’t say victory is a sure thing yet, but it’s definitely turning in my favour. I’ve upgraded my repellant to full chemical warfare status. We’re going for weapons of mass destruction here, none of them will be spared. Not only that, the trousers, shirt, and generally scin covering clothing seems to be having the desired effect, the reduction of territory available to the enemy. I’ve read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War!
I managed to lose my brother tonight. We got on different tuk tuks (taxis) heading for town, believing they were going to the same destination, only to discover they appeared to have no idea where the other was heading. However, due to the wonders of modern technology we have established cyber contact in a town not bigger than a postage stamp, and have a highly espionage-esque meeting place tomorrow, by the post box, with a red flower, a copy of the times, a McDonalds and a Starbucks in hand!
Signing off once again, now in Luang Prabbang and ready to explore the Laos nightlife. Catch you on the cyber…