The slow boat into Luang Prabang, Laos part 2

Friday, April 05, 2013

There are four ways to travel from Huayxai to Luang Prabang: fly (expensive), bus (windy and bumpy), fast boat (dangerous [the boat operators wear helmets!]), and slow boat (2 days/1 night boat ride down the Mekong River). To let our weary, sore legs rest, we opted for the slow boat. Plus, I had read in my research that it's just sitting around, watching scenery, sipping on Lao beer, and meeting other backpackers. It was a good time.
Sima & I waiting for the slow boat to depart. It eventually did 2 hours after its expected departure. Classic slow boat. Our boat even had engine problems and we were stuck for an hour.
We stopped overnight in Pak Beng, a town that seems to thrive and survive off the fact it's a stopping point for slow boaters. Seeing rural huts and poverty along the river, then arriving in a town with hotels and fancy restaurants was quite a culture clash.
We arrived in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO world heritage site, and it is the loveliest city I've ever visited. 
Night market! I love 'em!
 More foraging for fruit with Sima's guidance & Sasha's height + bamboo.
Last night in Luang Prabang. Free shots, delicious food, and great company. And if you find yourself there looking for a drink, go to Utopia. It's the coolest bar/lounge ever. Claudia and I woke up early Saturday morning and did yoga on their deck (with a view of the river!), then returned in the evening for a drink. Sigh, I left Luang Prabang much sooner than I would have liked. 

After Luang Prabang, I hopped on a bus to Vientiane. It was the wildest ride of my life. I felt like I was on a roller coaster 4 of the 6 hours. A couple people actually got sick and one person puked on himself. EW! If you're planning on taking the bus from Luang Prabang to Vientiane stop in Vang Vieng, and take the mini bus. You'll want the comfort.

On to Cambodia!
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