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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Thailand to Pak Vang, Laos

Filed under: Laos,Photos,SEA — she_travels at 11:32 am on Sunday, February 15, 2009

If one goggles “slow boat,  Mekong River” many pages of travel logs, advice and photos appear. The reason for this?  It is one of the  few ways to travel from the north of Thailand to anywhere in Laos. The Mekong is between the two countries and a major route for both tourists and locals living along it’s banks.  Being pretty much sick and tired of buses and mini vans, I choose the two day slow boat.  The stories I heard of the offered fast boat were more danger filled than I was willing to experience, they flip, often.

AS much as I travel nilly willy, I do some amount of research before leaving the states. I knew  going in the boats are PACKED with people and stuff. I also knew many people complained about the seats being hard. Not to worry about my bottom,  I travel with my pillow and a variety of plastic bags. Mom had gone to the night market in Chang Rai the night before to get dinner, I asked her to pick up two orders of chicken strips as boating food. A couple bottles of water with breakfast and I would be set.

Mom was with me in Thailand for three weeks, she went back to the states the same morning I was to start the slow boat adventure. As I remember,  she left the guest house several hours before I did, Oh wait, she went  the night before to hop a plane to Bangkok so she could check in for her flight home at five am.

I, like so many others,  had arranged a mini van to pick me up at the guest house in Chang Rai. They were to take me to the Thai border for an exit stamp, across the Mekong to the Lao side for a visa into Laos then on to the river boat which was to be my home for eight hours one day and ten hours the next. We were to stop for the night in a place called Pak Veng.

Behind my seat in the slow boat. You can see most of us are western tourists. The guys  in brown shirts were both Thai, one was a tour guide experiencing this trip so he could better sell the it to the rest of us.

In front of me, the people you see sitting lower next to the man in the white shirt are Lao, they joined us along the river to hop off long before we did.

Close to sunset we landed in Pak Vang for the evening. Pics of the river from the hill the village sat on.

From the outside bunch O boats like the one we were on .

The Village of Pak Vang. See the monks in the orange robes along the road? They are making their way up begging for food, the two ladies in the front of the picture, one in a red-ish skirt the other in a brown one, both have containers I have noticed during my travels. The containers are chock a block full of cooked sticky rice. When the monks were closer, the ladies with bowed heads, not looking at the monks,  took a heaping handful of rice from the container and placed it in a pouch each monk was carrying.

I spend the night in the guest house directly behind me. There was a lady out front making sandwiches for those of us boarding the boat this morning. With the influence from the french ages ago, one may purchase something akin to a sub sandwich about anywhere in Laos.

I was waiting in the boat I was pointed to, mind you it was not the boat I stepped off of the evening  before. This child was so very intent on what ever she was doing she didn’t notice me snap the picture. I believe this boat was her family’s home.

The last of Pek Vang, the white spots on the hill toward the right of the pic are village buildings. Ahh and yes, see the sun came out the second day. Did I mention, I was in South East Asia during rainy season?

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