Unfortunately, after finding Austin so miraculously, we had to leave him because apparently Huay Xai has jack shit to do and there is one motorbike you can rent in the whole town and it was in the shop. So Lenny, Sarah, and I decided to take the 2 day slow boat down the Mae Pong river to Luangprabang.
We bought a large supply of food for the trip and then got on this jank boat that is thin and stuffed full of people. There are like supposed to probably be a hundred seats and there are maybe 150+ people on this boat. We end up at the very back where two sets of seats were set up across from each other and pushed together so there was absolutely no legroom. It was like a small little cushion and all three of us had to squeeze.
The plus was that we were by the bathroom so we were in the heart of the traffic on the boat so we got to chat with a lot of people. This in includes and American guy named Andy (who I’m gonna call Dee Dee) from Wisconsin who went to the University of Minnesota! He lived uptown. What are the chances?!
Anyway. Not much exciting happened on the boat, but it was beautiful and we spent the night at a small town and got ready for day 2 on the boat!
Day two was equally as beautiful. We took two boats and had considerably more room. We passed all these little villages and the people who live there. Lenny decided he was obsessed with Laos. Then him and Dee Dee fell asleep in the shade and left me and Sarah to sweat it out in the freaking sun.
We got off mid-afternoon in Luangprabang which is this lovely riverside town. Of course, being scam artists, they dropped us off on the boat a few km away from the town so you have to pay 20,000 kip to get into the city.
And also the beginning of Songkran, the New Year was beginning in Lao. That means that at any given time you may be sprayed with water. Valuables and electronics beware. You are especially vulnerable when riding in a tuk-tuk because people just stand on the side of the road and spray you.
After a slightly damp trip, we ended up staying at “Spicy Lao”, a cool backpacker place that did not have air con (to our dismay). At this point Dee Dee is still with us.
We spent some time walking down the night market and buying even more things. Then we ate along the side of the river. Lao food is pretty much Thai food. There isn’t really a distinct cultural food taste. I ended up still feasting on curry and the likes.