back on the tuk tuk …
“to the public bus stop.
well we made it to our furthest northern town of chaing sien. this little town sits on the mekong river near the famous golden triangle.
we found a great little guest house that sits just outside the old city walls. thinking that we could walk there we turned down the tuk tuk driver (fare was a doller) and made our way down the street strolling along the mekong river. temperature was in the 90′s, our packs weigh a good amount, yet we were determined to walk, because as a backpacker that’s what you do to save a dollar.
after we settled in we walked back to town for a meal at the local street vender. i had chinese chicken rice which was prepared over a bed of japanese mesquite fire, then was flashed in a dry red curry powder and sprinkled with fresh corriander. stacy had the red pork on baby greens. her dish was prepared from 2 month aged pork that had been smoked with candy apples, figs and a hint of honey. amazing!
the next day we rented a motorbike and head to the golden triangle where you can see burma, laos, and thailand all meet on the mekong. they burn all the under brush in this part of the world so its hard to see much of anything in the distance, but we were able to appreciate the beauty.
after that, we set out to see the wats (or temples) that sit on the hillsides of chaing sien. very impressive with buhhda and all his monks chillin in their orange robes. we then tried to catch the sunset at a nearby lake that captures the beauty of the lotus flowers and the orchestra of the numerous wild birds. we ended our day with a great meal on the river. street venders throw down bamboo mats and tables and serve you a great meal with beers and local wiskey.
after that, the boat company gets all the travelers together for a speech on the laos boat trip. first they tell us that on the first day we will be on the boat for 12 hours and that our lives are at risk.
we spend the night at a river town and again the boat guy tells us that we might have our luggage stolen off the boat by villagers, that there is also no electricity, very few rooms available and, to top it all off, we could DIE.
at that point i had to leave to get a beer because everywhere we went there is a scam and we have heard it many times. this whole speech is being given so they can talk people into taking the bus for an additional 300 baht.
overall, the boat trip was a great time with travelers from all over the world. they had a bar with food, the seats were wood benches that suck after about 30 min, but lucky for us the first day was only 7 hours long.
we arrived to a great little village with friendly locals and plenty of places to stay. a bit more expensive but nice. we ate at a great indian/laos resturant to fuel up for our second day.
second day was great with lots of time to take in the beauty of the river and chat with the other travelers – this trip took about 10hrs. now we are in luang prabang checkin it out. seems to be more french influence here with fresh baguettes and wine stores along the narrow streets.
we’re leaving in a day to vang vieng to see more and keep the adventure exciting and new….”