A Travellerspoint blog

Laos

Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai!

all seasons in one day 33 °C
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Firstly - we have had our first virtually full day of rain in 3 and a half months....hurray! You have no idea how much you miss rain, its a pain in the bum when your in the UK though! We had a great time in Luang Prabang, and left early yesterday morning on the fastest most dangerous speedboat in the world. It does say in the guidebook that the speedboats on offer are really dangerous and tend to flip over at the smallest things, but its either a 7 hour white knuckle ride in a speedboat or spend two whole days on the slowest (and safest) boat in the world, with a stop in the middle of nowhere! We decided to risk it! We were both terrified, we nearly got out just before it left - but decided we can both swim so its ok! We had to sit crossed legged in the smallest space ever for the first 4 hours, right at the back of the boat so we couldnt hear a thing! We put ipods in after a while, and we introduced Motown to the Mekong! P1050626.jpgP1050627.jpg

We stopped in the middle of nowhere for lunch, and swapped positions so we were at the front of the boat - more splashy but more leg room! We were in the blistering sun as well, but we managed not to get too burnt - chris burnt his knee for example! This was interspersed with random rain showers as well, so we spent half the time covering our bags up and getting soaked and the rest covering ourselves up so we didnt get burnt! P1050632.jpgP1050636.jpgP1050641.jpgP1050645.jpg We got to the border at 4.30pm, and it closed at 5pm - cutting it slightly fine. We managed to rush over the Laos border and get another short boat across the border where we had to get another visa sorted for thailand. Stressful journey and we were both glad that its all over now. We managed to cut a day out the schedule, but i dont think we will be doing it again in a hurry!

We stayed for one night in Chiang Khong, which is just on the Thai border, then we set off this morning on a 7 hour coach south to Chiang Mai, which is where we will be for the next four days!

Hope you are all well,

Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xx

Posted by chrisalex 06:04 Archived in Laos Tagged boating Comments (1)

Luang Prabang!!

sunny 38 °C
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Hello all!

We got an 8 hour AC coach from Vientiane on 9th, which was really ace - a much better standard than Indian buses (sorry varun!). We chilled out in our hotel for the rest of the afternoon, which is just up from the banks of the Mekong! On the first day we walked around Luang Prabang and went to see the various famous Wats (temples) which cover this small town. P1050537.jpgP1050541.jpgP1050543.jpgP1050558.jpgP1050563.jpg It has retained its french colonialism so well that in the heat of the day you feel like you could be walking around a little french town. P1050536.jpg Its very pretty and very well preserved. It was far too hot, so we managed to get as much done as we could before it got too hot - we didnt really succeed as both of us ended up getting burnt! P1050527.jpg

Yesterday, we didnt really do much, just caught up with ourselves and stuff. In the evening we climbed Phu Si, which is a small hill which overlooks the whole town. Lots of steps to get to the top, but it was well worth it as the views of the valley and the Mekong were amazing! P1050572.jpgP1050574.jpgP1050578.jpgP1050582.jpgP1050584.jpg We manage to eat quite cheaply here as there is a night market everyday which sells all kinds of foods - from noodles to baguettes to dead insects - needless to say we have not yet tried the latter!

Today we went to see Kuang Si waterfalls, which were absolutely stunning! P1050617.jpg We had to get a rickshaw out of town early this morning, but it was well worth it! We swam for about an hour in the bluest pool we have ever seen at the base of the waterfall, the water was freezing so it was nice and refreshing! P1050605.jpgP1050621.jpg We are off to Huay Xai on a speed boat tomorrow, which takes 6 to 7 hours! It takes us up the Mekong to the Thai border, which is where we shall re-enter Thailand!

Hope everyone is well,
Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 05:32 Archived in Laos Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Vientiane!

sunny 36 °C
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Greetings from Laos people! Third country in three days! We cant keep up with ourselves anymore! We got our first Thai train overnight from Bangkok to Nong Khai, which is the town nearest the border to Laos. The train was much nicer than the indian ones (sorry varun), really clean and we got a little matress as well! The Thai are slightly too organised sometimes, as we had a man on board who made the beds when he wanted and promptly kicked us out at 6.30am the next morning. Brits cant cope being told what to do at the best of times, but its best to just agree when it comes to the Thai!

Once we arrived at Nong Khai we got a rickshaw to the border and waited a long time whilst forms were filled in and visas were granted. From there we got a minibus to the capital, Vientiane! We have been here for the past 3 nights now, and I must say we are pleasently surprised with Laos so far. Granted it is the capital, but its a lot more developed than we thought it would be - the roads are good and the city is clean! We were both expecting an extension of Bangkok, but its more a cross between french boulevards and small american towns with lots of open crossroads. We both really like it and have spent most of the time walking around! We hired a scooter today to view all the sights Vientiane has to offer, including Pha That Luang, Wat Si Saket and Patuxai (temples and an Arc de Triomphe lookalikey). P1050469.jpgP1050473.jpgP1050483.jpgP1050486.jpgP1050489.jpgP1050492.jpgP1050496.jpgP1050504.jpgP1050507.jpgP1050510.jpg The money is funny is Laos, as its completly worthless - one pound is equal to about 13,000 kip at the moment, so we keep getting confused with all the zeros! We are really enjoying Laos so far, and we are off to Luang Prabang next for a few days, so we will write again then!

Lots of Love

Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 06:56 Archived in Laos Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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