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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 110: Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong

THAILAND | Saturday, 23 February 2008 | Views [2203]

Saturday 23rd February

I was up and out of the guesthouse by 07.30, making my way to the bus terminal with the intention of getting the 08.30 direct bus to Chiang Khong, the border town from where I could cross the Mekong River into Laos. However, this particular bus was full, so I had to take the alternative route of a bus to Chiang Rai, and another from there to Chiang Khong. I was happy enough with this arrangement as it meant I could get on the road straightaway and avoid any waiting about.

The roads were poorer on this route than on any other that I had been in Thailand, even bringing back memories of those rollercoaster Himalayan bus trips in India. We got to Chiang Khong at 14.00, and I checked into the 'Bamboo Guesthouse' which overlooked the Mekong, having pre-booked the day before (based on a glowing recommendation in the Lonely Planet). It was a decent place, although it was no great shakes, a bit quiet, even for me.

I relaxed for the rest of the day, having a chat with Dave on Skype and it was good to catch up on some news from home. I took a walk along the main street and had a look at some of the local produce on sale, even seeing a tray of four skinned and gutted rats, lying on their backs and looking vile! The flies were hopping off them and there didn't seem to be many takers, which didn't surprise me much (we weren't that far from China, but obviously not that close either!).

I was glad to be making a move somewhere new, but also sorry to say goodbye to Thailand, having had a very good time there. I will definitely try and come back sometime in the future as there is a lot going for it, not least the people who are very friendly and cheerful (and who don't go overboard trying to make money from you either). Another of the main attractions is the food, which is tasty, cheap, and always available. However, my last main meal in Thailand was probably the only one that I didn't like, and certainly the only dish that I didn't finish. It was a spicy pork salad, and it was pretty rank, rather spicy but also with a sour taste to it that didn't appeal. Not wanting to offend the restaurant staff, I used the excuse that I actually wasn't really that hungry in the first place.

I was tempted to sit up and watch the football in a local bar but resisted the temptation to stay up until 02.00, instead taking them more sensible option of getting an early night, anticipating a long – and potentially tiring – days travelling into Laos the next day. 

Tags: On the Road


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