Huay Xai to Luang Prabang
I must say that I had heard a lot about Loas before I had gotten there and even though I was informed it still never failed to surprise me. I was told it was a lot like Thailand 10 years ago, a lot less modern and very down to earth. The small towns, locals, food, transportation, all of it, just seemed a little behind, but that was the beauty of this country. Its been hiding behind the popularity of Thailand and slowly being discovered by travelers all over the world. Its a gorgeous country, full of nice people, and tons of history on its dirt. One of the most memorable days of Laos was the day we used the “Slow Boat”. It took 2 days, each about 6-8 hours long with an over night stay in a small town off the river. Its pretty cheap, the boat holds a little over one hundred people, wooden and a super load motor. Its a very disorganized mode of transportation and you can almost always get a ticket it just doesnt always promise you a seat.
I personally very much didnt like the boat ride because it was so long, uncomfortable, so crowded people were sitting in the aisles, the food bar didn’t have much variety, motor was extremely loud and the toilet didnt flush. Not only that but the departure time is actually 2 hours after what they tell you to be ready for on top of the other 7 hours. At the 2 destinations (at the half way point and luang prabang) getting off, and receiving your luggage is quite chaotic because they just throw it under the floor boards when you leave, and just throw it off the boat when you arrive.
Thats not even all of it…once you actually arrive at your destination in Luang Prabang, they actually started dropping you off right outside the city. Our tickets had said that we got dropped off in the middle of the city so our entire boat tried to rebel and force the captain to take us. The crew had failed to inform us that this new drop off dock had just recently became the main one with in the last two months. So since you are outside the city, you have take a tuk tuk for about 30 minutes and 100 bahts into the city to wherever you are staying.
Its definitely an experience and a popular way to get around in Loas, just prepare this!