Two Tickets to Paradise (pack your bags we’ll leave when it’s convenient)

Let me first say that this post is very, very delayed. Sorry about that. The wifi in Laos isn’t great so it’s been really difficult to upload pictures. All these upcoming posts are belated, but hopefully still fun to read! (Hah! I know they will be) The pictures are the best.

We took the slow boat from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang, Laos. The whole process took just over two days and was by far the coolest method of transportation we’ve experienced thus far.

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At first it seemed a bit daunting. We had to take a bus to a boat, a boat to a boat, and some other trips in-between. However, obtaining the actual visa was simple – I had Spense do it.

After hustling and bustling through a swarm of people, we got our visas and headed to the slow boat. A very well-dressed Laotian man convinced us to book through him. He definitely took advantage of us a bit (the boys loved it) – so keep a look out. Almost everyone booked a guesthouse through him and was overcharged about 100 baht. Of course, we didn’t know that until we arrived. If anyone is looking for advice, don’t book the guesthouse ahead of time as there are plenty available for a good price. Pak Beng, where the boat first stops, is really only there for the purpose of hosting the slow boat attendants…and to house the residents I suppose. It’s a quaint little town with some restaurants and bakeries, but that’s about it. We had a great dinner with new friends and got free shots of whiskey.

The next morning we headed out at about 9am. The boat was MUCH more comfortable this day. We got there in time to get seats with a table! We were so excited. The ride the second day was also much more beautiful, or so I’ve heard – I slept for the first half of the trip. The sights were absolutely breathtaking. I knew immediately that Laos was going to be something special…something dirth. In addition to that, there were some adorable babies on board. We love babies. Especially Laotian babies.

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The boat pulled into Luang Prabang at about 5pm and everyone agreed to meet up at Utopia – an awesome backpackers bar, at 8pm.

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The slow boat was an experience. Without knowing the details of the bus, it’s tough to make an accurate comparison, though we can speak for the two day trip. It’s an excellent way to meet new friends and given the small size of the two destinations, Pak Beng and the slightly larger Luang Prabang, most everybody stays somewhat central to each other. The scenery is incredible; the ride smooth and relaxing. The atmosphere is what you make it – a perfect environment for reading and/or socializing.

Until next time! (Hint: Next time is scheduled in advance. If you would like more frequent posts, deposit money into my bank account. Come at me.)

2 thoughts on “Two Tickets to Paradise (pack your bags we’ll leave when it’s convenient)

  1. We took the slow boat to Luang Prabang some years ago and loved it. The first day we sat on hard shallow wooden benches and the second day were pleased to have old van seats which looked a lot like yours on your second day. We did almost capsize once which was exciting, but it was a great experience. 🙂

    1. Almost capsized?! That’s crazy! Lucky enough the Mekong was nice and pleasant for us. It’s so funny to look back at the experience now. We met so many friends we saw all over Laos. It was by far the most rewarding part of our trip thus far, then again, I always say that :-).

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