We looked into several ways to get from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang in Laos, and we decided the most interesting and convenient, seemed to include a two day boat trip down the Mekong river. We got a bus from Chiang Rai to the border crossing, and then stayed the night in the Laos border town of Huay Xai. The next morning we boarded the long wooden boat that was to take us through the Laos countryside to Luang Prabang. The journey was broken up by an overnight stay in the small town of Pak Beng, which after a six hour boat ride was the only town we’d seen all day, and would be the last we would see until we reached our destination the following day. It was an incredibly scenic trip, and a wonderful chance to see some of the ‘real’ Laos. We passed tiny settlements with excited children running onto the bank to wave to our boat, we saw an elephant, and lots of fishing boats. I thought it deserved its own blog post, with just a few pictures of our trip. It was a wonderful introduction to a beautiful country.
The first day was a little misty; cruising down the Mekong felt very atmospheric. Towards the end of the day the rain began to fall, and all the passengers hurriedly pulled down the waterproof awnings. We enjoyed our first evening in Laos in the only way acceptable – a delicious dinner on the riverside washed down by their biggest export, Beer Laos.
The next day was a lot clearer, and the views were stunning. The six hour cruise to Luang Prabang whizzed by and we loved Laos already.