The “Slow Boat” (“slow” being the key word here) to Luang Prabang leaves from Huay Xai, the border town on the Laos side of Thailand’s Chiang Khong border in the far North. Most people find themselves plonked straight onto this boat after a long bus journey from Chiang Mai or even Pai, but I had just spent two tummy-troubling days in the dire town of Huay Xai and was very eager to leave.
The journey takes a total of 14 hours, with 6 on the first day, and 8 on the second. I SURVIVED. The first hour or so was actually quite pleasant. The gentle rock of the boat, the breeze against my face and the beautiful scenery made for an enjoyable beginning of the trip. Ahh the serenity.
After that, I was bored and numb-bummed.
The night of day one is spent in a tiny town called Pakse that’s only reason for existing seems to be to cater for travellers on this particular journey. There’s nothing but guesthouses and restaurants, and I heard there’s even a bar or two. I saw none of these though. I spent the night hidden away in my room which had a wifi connection strong enough to stream Seinfeld. YAAAAASSSS.
The second day’s perfect weather and amazing scenery totally made the entire boat journey worth it. Floating past huge jungle covered mountains and tiny little villages made up of nothing but a collection of bamboo huts was pretty damn cool.