A man fell in the Mekong! Our slow boat trip…

The boat isn’t actually that slow, once it gets going. So we turned up at 9.30am to get the boat which is meant to leave at 10.30am. I focus upon the word meant to as we didn’t leave till gone midday. But as we got there in good time, we were actually able to get the seats assigned to us and were happy and settled by the time the late comers turned up and were (literally) shouting and fighting over their seats.

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When we were waiting for the boat to leave, a very genuine man came on telling us that there were not enough guesthouses for people at our stop over in Prabang and that he would take bookings for his guesthouse for 140,000 KIP (about 12GBP) but he only had 11 rooms. Panic-stricken hands shot up all over the boat and an hour later he was still taking bookings… 11 rooms my a**e! This first day we were sailing for around 6 hours. The scenery is beautiful and you go past little villages and farms and mountainous areas. All very lovely. We kept ourselves entertained by eating our sandwiches we had bought on the shore before we left (they LOVE sandwiches in Laos…French influence and all that). by reading and playing games. But the thing that kept us most entertained when a drunk Aussie fell off the back of the boat when we were going at high speed. A girl came wandering through, a bit too calmly for my liking, “umm a guy has fallen off the back of the boat” she tells one of the workers and we instantly slow down, “WHAT?!” we all burst out, “I’m sure he’ll be OK” she says “he’s quite a well seasoned traveller”…. ooooohhh, I didn’t realise being a well seasoned traveller made you more buoyant…silly me! There’s no rush, don’t worry?!

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So we turned around and eventually found him on shore, his excuse “you have no seats on the back, I fell off”, the real reason, ‘yeah, OK, I was trying to climb on the roof.” Silly Aussie.

We got into Prabang about 6pm and I went to find a room when Adam got the bags. I went into the first guesthouse; 70,000KIP for an OK double room with private bathroom. Half the price of what the guy was pushing on the boat. Not enough rooms, what ever.

We got back on to the boat the next day at about 8.30am to get going for 9.30am. This time no seat numbers just help yourself, so it was lucky we did turn up so early and got ourselves sorted. This journey lasted about 6/7hours and when we finally arrived in Luang Prabang everything was in walking distance, so easy to find a guesthouse to stay in and easy to navigate the town in general.

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