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River Mae Khong

Yeah, I got some Internet access again – finally. Now, I am in Laos – to be precise, in Luang Prabang. LP is the world famous unesco listed world heritage site right at river Mae Khong (= Mekong).

LightningGetting there was a multi-day adventure. First I took a local bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong over incredibly crappy roads… After this almost four hour ride (with having about every km a stop for someone leaving or entering the bus), I chose a guesthouse in Chiang Khong. This place seemed quite “left” – very few travellers around, and people almost begging for someone to stay at their place… So I got a decent room right at river Mekong for just 150 Baht. A room like this would have cost probably 350 in Chiang Mai. Anyway, after a heavy thunderstorm around 8pm I finally got to bed, because on the next morning I wanted to cross the Thai/Laotian border.

So at next morning at around 7.30 I got up and walked down to the pier and got my departure stamp of Thailand. For 40 Baht a tiny ferry takes you over the river, where you can get the Laotian Visa. This one takes some forms to fill out, a recent passport picture and…. 30 US$ in cash.

Mekong river boatAfter getting another few stamps in my passport I reached down the road in order to get a SlowBoat ticket for the two-day river cruise down to Luang Prabang. The scammers around the immigration point tried to sell me a ticket for 1200 Baht – but at the official office it is just 900. The boat finally left at around 11:30 – and I was lucky to be early. Cause the boat was completely packed and I got a very good and quiet seat in the front of the boat… Next to me were some nice US guys and some people from Regensburg and a couple from Sweden.

Mekong cruiseAfter the boat finally arrived around sunset (=1800), we knew each other quite good, had a few Beer Lao and enjoyed the scenic view of the Mekong Riverside… The second day was the same – nice, untouched nature and a long time to bridge. We had again good seats – just because two of the US guys decided to et up at 5am to save the seats! (The boat left at 8.30).

So finally – here I am in Luang Prabang!

But when I reached this decent place in the middle of nowhere, something really crazy happened: I met Ulrike, Katharina and her sister Dorothea which are currently on a round-the-world trip! I did not know that they where around… Very funny meeting a co-worker and former co-student of mine in south-east-asia! So we had some food together and decided to get on a trip to a waterfall tomorrow :)

filed in laos, on tour, thailand

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