DAY 2, HUAY XAI TO PAKBENG
The next day we made our way to the Thailand Laos border. Two English fellas overstayed their visa in Thailand so the guy at passport control played a little joke on them and said it is very serious what they done. Well their faces dropped but I think in the end they just had to pay 500bhat (10£). To give you an idea of how lax this is, if it were to happen in America, you are talking about a 10 year travel ban!
After immigration we were given a talk by the guy responsible for the trip saying how he got us all the best seats on the boat at the front away from the engine, result! We boarded quickly and every one of us was sent straight to the back of the boat where to engine was, the noise was horrific. Good thing though was that the bar was also at the back so we didn’t even need to get off our seats to get a beer. Although the scenery is pretty much the same for the whole journey its like nothing I have ever seen.
The boat is a bit of a mess but what do you expect in such a remote place, it was never going to be first class which would just defeat the purpose of travelling to these areas. Occasionally we headed past people washing themselves in the muddy river and the kids couldn’t appear to be any happier, different world!
The boat is also used to transport locals, food and parcels. Sometimes the boat wouldn’t even stop and would just slow down to allow someone to throw the parcels off onto the bank and continue on. The company certainly helped make it the experience it was with the 3 American guys and a few girls from Derby and Aberdeen so the craic was decent (for a 3 day trip it would need to be). That night we docked at Pak Beng and couldn’t believe the scenes – check out tomorrows post to see why.