Martin's 2008 RTW Journey travel blog

First Sight of Laos across the Mekong

Chiamg Khong Village

Papaya tree (one of millions)

Thai hopscotch

Street scene

The river Mekong

Crossing the Mekong

On Tuesday I travel to the Thai/Laos border by minibus to cross the Mekong into Laos and arrange my 30 day visa.

I arrived in Chiang Khong after a 6 hour minibus ride during which I had my head in a book for most of the journey mainly because the view outside was always a pretty scary one: the wrong side of the road with oncoming traffic, or just screaming around one of the many mountain bends at suicidal speed. Chiang Khong was small and friendly, nothing like South American border towns although the guest hose rooms were quite similar. I was fed whisky by generous locals and eaten by mosquitoes on the banks of the Mekong and so the next morning had another 20 bites to add to the dozens already scarring my legs and feet.

Please don't let these stories of mosquitoes put you off visiting these places I haven't met anyone who suffers like I do. Most people I see complain are grumbling about one or two spots that spoil their otherwise perfect complexion and I doubt there are many people who wear all over DEET like I do.

The next morning across the river was the usual chaos passing through immigration after which I was subjected to the first two of three scams, this is about normal for Thailand, but I was hoping to escape it in Laos. The upshot was I was down about 5 pounds at the end of the day which isn't much in the scheme of things, but still annoying as I fended off one of them.

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