From Mae Salong, we traveled to Chiang Rai by small local bus/taxis. The photo above is the hillside view looking out of the back of the car down the hill-side. Below is Roy sitting patiently waiting or our connecting bus/taxi to take us to Chiang Rai.
From Chiang Rai we got on a real bus, one that made me think of our old school bus. Sticky vinyl seats, electric blue interior, groovy fans to keep you cool. Mind you I think on our school bus the driver was the only one with a fan. On this bus there were several down the aisle.
An elderly lady came on to the bus, claimed her seat by plonking her shopping down. The light that came in the window just made it look so magical. This is my seat.
Above: A taxi at the bus station.
Below: A tool shop, they have the right idea by putting them all in one street.
The crossing from Chiang Rai into Laos was easy. The electric blue interior bus took us to the border, at which we filled out our paperwork, and stamped out of Thailand. To then get on a boat to cross the river, out came our passports to be stamped into Laos. During our boat ride from one country to another, we made a few new friends a couple of lads from Australia, England and Korea.
At that moment we all decided to get the long boat ride down to Luang Prabang, after spending a night in Huay Xai. First though we needed to make sure we were fueled to start negotiating the price of the trip. It was time for beer and lunch.
Above: Chicken nuggets on a bed of cabbage, with a home-made sweet chili dipping sauce
Below: Crispy pork and gai lan (chinese brocoli) with rice
Catching the boat to Luang Prabang will be a full day affair. So supplies were needed, I needed new sunglasses, as mine just broke, sandwiches ordered for lunch, drinks, snacks and beer.
The town of Huay Xai, had everything we could possible find for our journey, as well as getting a bowl of soup for breakfast before we headed out for the day.
5 Things you must take on the long – boat
water, sunglasses, snacks/lunch, cardigan/rain jacket and patience
Roll up your jacket and have a snooze while the land flies by, or maybe the jacket can help you get comfortable after the three hour mark, when your bum is getting really sore.
Luang Prabang is listed as a UNESCO site, we had food to eat, markets to find, waterfalls to swim in. Next week we look at the longboat journey.