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To hyai xai

LAOS | Sunday, 14 December 2008 | Views [1056]

yes a slow boat

yes a slow boat

The next morning, I was up early and walked around the island before I had to get the boat back to the mainland and then a mini bus to paske. When I got there, I got a night bus ticket for that night. So I had time to kill for the day. I spent it just hanging around, reading and being on the internet. It was quite relaxing really.

At 8 O. clock I went for the bus. I was expecting something like the VIP bus myself and aoife got from Bangkok to koh tao. But no, I was all excited. There were actually beds, like bunk beds on either side of the bus all the way back. I got into the bed I was assigned to and couldn't get the smile off my face. An actual bed. The guy in the bed opposite said they were suppose to sleep two people. So you are suppose to share the bed with a stranger. I was really surprised, well I wouldn't have minded if they put a cute guy in beside me. Ha ha

I looked out the window to the other buses and he was right the other ones were full and looked like there were 2 people in a bed. I even saw 2 big guys in the same bed together. And I don't think they were together if you know what I mean. Ha-ha.

We even had a bus hostess, who had a uniform with a hat and everything. she showed us to our beds and when it eventually took off, she gave us water and a little snack and a orange. All really cute. I was even so excited a Laos guy that was on the bus with us, asked if he could take our photos , me and the guy opposite. Crazy white girl to be excited on a sleeping bus. it felt like the first time we took one in Vietnam, the excitement of it all.

And we were really lucky the bus ended up being half empty so I never had to share my bed in the end. But I did end up rolling around in it as the bus driver took corners fast all night. I was afraid I was going to fall out at one stage.

We arrived to Vientiane really that next morning and I got a tuk tuk to the next bus station, so I could get a bus to luang prabang that morning. I had booked the gibbon experience up in the north of Laos near huay xai for the 15th of December, so had to make my way up in three days.

I got to the northern bus station in time for the next bus that was leaving in 15mins. There was another girl with me, who was on a different night bus, but had also came from pakse. The whole journey was actually really nice. I had 2 whole seats to myself, so I able to laze across them both of them and doze all day. It was a really beautiful bus journey through the mountains. The moon was full now and had risen really early, so I watched it float back and forth through the windows as we made our way around the hills and watched a beautiful sunset through the misty mountains. In don det it was the first time I had really noticed the rising and setting of the moon, because it was so bright, you saw it early in the evening and since I was up late one night, I noticed it wasn't as bright anymore as it was setting.

We arrived to luang prabang, just after sunset. At the bus station the girl from paske and another girl from the bus and I all got a tuk tuk together into town. We decided to try and find a guesthouse together and it was a good thing. It was late enough and the couple guesthouses that we checked out only had rooms for 3 people. And since there was 3 of us, we decided to grab a room together. I was only staying one night so it was prefect for me and the other girls said they would try and find a different room in the morning, as they were going to stay a couple of days. When we checked in, one of the girls left straight away as she was really hungry. But I hadn't had a shower since 2 days previously so I wanted a shower first and so did the other girl. We had our showers and went out for food. We ate from the food stalls on the street. It wasn't too bad. I wanted to sit down and eat and there was only one seat available so I took it and the other girl decided to wander off around the night market with her chicken on a stick. After I ate I wandered around the night market also, but I didn't stay out long. I had to get up early the next morning to get the slow boat towards huay xai.

The next morning I was the first one up, I said good bye to the girls and headed down stairs to pay my share of the room, but there was no one there. If I was on my own I would have walked out as I had to go get the boat, but the girls were still there, so I headed up stairs and tried to figure out how much was my share which I gave to one of the girls before I headed off to get my boat.

The boat dock was a a lot further than I originally thought and it was a nice walk to wake me up for the morning. And my back pack was quite heavy at this stage as I was carrying stuff since Cambodia as I hadn't mailed anything since Bangkok But I finally got to the dock and got my ticket to pakbeng. It was the half point between luang prabang and huay xai. Where we had to stay the night and get the boat again the next morning the rest of the way. When I got on the boat there were a few van seats to the front of the boat. They were the only comfortable chair as the rest were all wooden benches. I decided to grab one of the van seats while they were still available, as I didn't know how many people would be on the boat. I had heard stories that there could be over 100 people.

As it turned out there wasn't that many on it which was great. There were empty benches everywhere. I was even able to fall asleep on a couple of the van seats as some people moved to seat on the floor closer to the front. I met some older swiss people on the boat, travelling together. 2 guys and a girl. They were really nice but I only remember one of their names now, george. The morning was freezing and I didn't have any socks on. I was smart enough to pack my new blanket that I bought down on don det into my small bag, so I able to wrap that around me, but my feet were still cold.

I was really tired for some reason all I could do was sleep. I even woke up at one stage with a bad headache and I think I had a fever. Its hard to tell sometimes if you have no yourself. I tried to sleep it off but it didn't seem to go anywhere. I went and got my first aid kit, but I had used my panadol already. So I asked george beside me if he happened to have any. He went to get me some but he said his bag was buried and wasn't able to get to it. But he would give me some when we got to pakbeng. Which thankfully wasn't to far away.

When we arrived to pakbeng, the boat docked and we had this massive slope of sand to walk up to get to the road. So the way I was feeling light headed, I had a heavy bag on my back and I had to navigate this slope. It took me awhile to get there and I was going to take this guesthouse and I asked george if I could get those pills off him later. I just had to find him.

But he convinced me to go with them to the guesthouse they were going to, cause maybe I would be able to share a room with the swiss woman. So I walked with them up to their guesthouse which ended up being the furthest one away I think. And not at all what I wanted to do at that time. But we finally made it , but there was no room for me so I had to go to the guesthouse next door. I didn't care I just wanted to get my bags off me and he gave me the pills and invited me to go to dinner with them.

After we checked in, I took the pills and we headed for Indian dinner down the road. They were really nice people and they told me they go travelling together every year in December.

It was a pleasant evening and george even ended up paying for my dinner which was really sweet.

I went to bed really early that evening around 8 O. clock and I slept through till 7 the next morning. I guess I really needed to sleep.

The next morning, I got on the boat and I decided to go down by the wooden benches instead. George also reminded me of my friend steven abit, I din't want to hang around. So I spent the day by myself really reading and writing on my computer. I knew I was feeling better when I was able to read. I still had a bit of a headache but the swiss guy gave me some extra pills which I took for it. It was nice to just have this little space for myself on the boat to just read and daydream and watch the Laos people playing and bathing in the making river. I heard that the boat going to luang prabang was actually always full. And I'm really glad I experienced it the other way around. I don't think it would have been any fun.

We arrived to huay xai and I left all the other passengers and headed off to find a guesthouse. I ended up taking the first one I saw. I deposited my bags and went to find the gibbon experience office as we were suppose to check in the day before for the trip. I eventual found it not too far down the road, where I signed my life away. I just had to be there for 8 the next morning. It was all really exciting. I had read about it before I went travelling on some website group post and it was something I thought would be really good to do. I wasn't exactly sure what was going to happen as their website is really vague. All I know that zip lines were involved and tree houses. I knew it was an eco trek as they only have so many people going to it a day. They company also don't want to be published in the lonely planet which makes it even better. So you only really hear about it from word of mouth. And they are always full so they don't need the publicity.

So I headed to bed early as I still wasn't feeling 100% as there was no way I missing it.

Tags: hyai xai, slow boat


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