Monday, February 22, 2010

No boat for us

We are leaving for Laos in about an hour, taking an overnight bus directly to the town of Louang Phabang. We had originally planned on taking a two day "slow boat" trip down the river, but the river levels are too low for the slow boats. Apparently, speed boats are still running and will make the trip in one day, but they can only take four passengers because of the water levels. Some fellow travelers we met in Chiang Mai (who's blog is quite good, by the way) alerted us as a comment on our last blog post that the boats were canceled, but we would probably have come up here anyway, as our 15-day visa for Thailand runs out in a couple days. Our super-friendly guest house sells bus tickets that include the border crossing ferry so we've decided to just go with that.

We spent the night at the border town of Chiang Khong, which is a nice enough town, as far as border towns go. We got off the bus around 8PM and were met by the owners of the Baan Rimtaling Guest House, a Thai woman and a guy from Florida, who as it turns out, can talk your ear off. We were lucky to get the last double room in the place, which at only 160 Baht (less than $5 US) is quite a steal. Plus, they ran a decent restaurant, so after the seven hour bus ride from Chiang Mai, we enjoyed some good curry and beer.

The water levels of the river are quite low, which we could see in the morning from our guest house:

We went for a short walk around town this morning, saw some monks buying cell phones (see our pictures), and Jaimee bought some yarn (surprisingly hard to find around SE Asia) and got a massage. Overall, a decent stopover.

Update: It turns out that just like airlines, buses also get overbooked. The bus to Laos was overbooked by two people, so in exchange for free dinner at the restaurant tonight and a discount on a room with our own bathroom (it's amazing what becomes a luxury after awhile), we decided to stay another night and head to Laos tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys,
    Thanks for the shout out!! Just emailed you re: our plans. We'll cross over into Laos tomorrow and take a slower, more northerly route to LP...maybe we'll catch up there?


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