Where in the world are Raime and Kate? travel blog

We traveled from Chiang Rai to the small border town of Chiang Khong yesterday on the regular bus, as there is no fancy VIP bus for this route. The bus was crowded, with hard seats, no A/C, and made frequent stops, but it wasn't too bad. It cost less than $1.50 for each of us so that definitely helped in our memory of the experience. The landscape was incredible - wide flat valleys sprinkled with many steep, rocky hills. We had never seen anything like it.

We had sketched a rough map of Chiang Khong, but weren't quite sure where we had gotten dropped off, so we started walking having little idea of where we were or where we were headed. We were prime targets for the many taxi drivers with our packs, silly map, and how we were slowly spinning around in circles trying to get our bearings. But we didn't want to pay a steep fare to be taken to the driver's friend's lousy guesthouse, so we hoofed it.

We found a guesthouse that had a room for under $4 that was totally unacceptable so we moved on. We settled on the second place which is an excellent deal. A large, clean room with a big fridge (the first time we've had one all trip), a TV with a movie channel that cuts in and out (we think the cable may be stolen), and a private balcony with a view of the Mekong river and Laos on the other side. All for $10.

We had dinner last night at a very nice restaurant that seems to be owned by a friendly expat Dutchman. There was a sign for bike tours by the bar, and he called the number for us to learn that at the moment they have no bikes! So he said he'd be happy to take us on a bike tour himself. He may have a business engagement, but he said there was a 90% chance that it wouldn't happen, this being Thailand and all. He also said he'd try to bring along his English friend, who may be heading down to Bangkok, but 90% chance he won't go. Last night we also met some rowdy Frenchmen who own a bar. There are lots of expats in this town. We'll try to get some good photos of this friendly place before we cross into country #12 tomorrow.

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