The Slow road (river) to Laos

Our last few days in Thailand were wonderful and we’ll just include the photos, since I’ve already gone on about the elephants! In the photo of me in front of the elephants, notice where the elephant on the left (the baby) is looking. Just moments after I stupidly tried to take my self-portrait, the baby almost managed to rip my hair out of my scalp in the quest for my sunglasses – the scamp! Too bad his trunk is already so strong! And we also managed to find some classy Thai farmer hats for about 30 cents, and now we are the most Thai looking tourists around…sort of.
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We signed up for the 2-day, 14-hour slowboat ride to Luang Prabang, on the recomendations of a few friends (thanks Laura and Erin!). However, we weren’t quite prepared for how SLOW it would feel. The first day was lots of fun, as we ended up on the party boat, but the second day dragged on a bit, helped on by quite a few games of Soduku. They really packed us on like cattle and there were probably up to 100 people on the boat – not the most comfortable situation, especially with church pews as seats. But the scenery was breathtaking – thick jungle and isolated Lao villages. Both of us feel like we’d do it all over again if we got the chance.
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Luang Prabang is a pleasant, if extremely touristy town. It has a wonderful night market and a very busy currency exchange office that will only give out the unstable ‘kip’ but won’t take it back! We’ve found it quite frustrating to figure out how much things are actually costing us, considering they quote and accept in baat, US dollars, and kip, and there are 9,300 kip to the dollar – not an easy thing to wrap our minds around. For instance, every night we spend about 50,000 kip on our hotel room! The pic below is of the food section of the night market, which has everything from freshly bbq’d fish to freshly stuffed entrails…maybe on their way to becoming sausage? We’re not entirely sure yet…


Tomorrow we head out on a 3-5 day cycling trip up north to Nong Khiaw, hoping to catch another slow boat back to Luang Prabang (we just can’t get enough of the bruises on our butts). We are armed with a map but it isn’t topographical so we may be turned around or rerouted by some steep terrain!

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