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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Oudômxai, Laos

Aug 10, 2007 - Mekong River - Pakbeng. Enter Laos.

On the morning of the 10th, we took boat across the Mekong to enter Laos. Then we boarded a slow boat for the two-day journey down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. The Mekong was wide and brown with lots of little eddies and swirls in it, but our captain had no problems navigating through the beautiful tropical mountains. Occasionally we'd see a boat, but otherwise the river ws empty. Along the riverbanks, we saw straw shelters shere the farmers take a break while tending their upland rice fields, which we saw along the way. Our group had a...

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Mar 17, 2007 - Mekong Cruise

Our next adventure is the 'Mekong Cruise' We set out around 8:00 am heading for Pak Beng, eight hours, the halfway point between Luang Prabang and the Thai border. It was a very relaxing and pleasant trip, if uneventful. Lots of time to sit back, take in the scenery and chat to fellow passengers. The pictures tell a better story than I can. (They don't exaggerate as much as I sometimes do.) From Pak Beng it was another nine hours of cruising to reach the Thai border. The scenery is interesting and you get a good idea of what river life is...

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Mar 15, 2007 - Houayxai - Pak Beng

Please don't use hot water as it may blow up the hotel... For the next two days we will be cruising down the Mekong river towards Luang Prabang. Good start into the day! Thanks to the French, who colonised Laos, there are plenty of baguette places for breakfast. After more than a month in Asia a cheese baguette seems to be a full five star menu! However, a good breakfast was also needed as the day turned out to be beautiful but tough. The slowboat, which really deserves its name, is a converted traditional bark. Wooden seats are installed...

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Mar 7, 2007 - Pak Bang, Laos

We woke at 7am and were at the spot for transfer to the boat by 8am. After an uninspired breakfast we were in a Tuk Tuk, driven by a very helpful and courteous Laos man, and on our way to the boat. Within 10 minutes we were doing some official business that involved paying the money to the boat people and giving some piece of paper, written in Laos to a very official man. We were then boarded the boat and chose one of the hundreds of wooden, straight-backed chairs - very uncomfortable. The boat was scheduled to leave at 9:30am but we...

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Feb 12, 2007 - Pak Beng

"Slow boat ticket to Luang Prabang"...they weren't kidding about the slow part! Seven hours on a boat designed for 100 people but jam packed with more than 200, we finally arrived at this unbelievable little town situated directly on the Mekong River...never experienced anything like it! Candlelit shops and a "port" that wasn't more than a death trap...the boat pulls up to the side of the river, and you look up, and its just pure jagged rocks...no worries though, local kids just come and raid the boat, grab your backpack and haul it up the...

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Matt and Jen in Asia

Feb 8, 2007 - Pak Beng to Luang Probang

Got up early and strolled through the village as it awakened. The locals are a very nice people. They seem well fed. energetic, and laugh a lot. We leave at 8 after breakfast. Another 8 hour trip. We stop at a famous cave where the locals have brought Buddha images since the 11th century. Everything is a repeat of yesterday. I forgot to mention how cold it has been. If you are standing still it is warm, but the boat moves so fast that it creates a cold wind. Both days for the morning we froze to death. we stopped at another village where we...

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Dec 22, 2006 - Crossing into Laos

So everything ran like clock work today. Got the 6am bus, got to the boat crossing, exited Thailand, got the boat across the Mekong, entered Laos and cleared immigration, went to the slow boat pier bought my ticket and was all done before 9am. Seamless, all proud of myself. And even better I could think about breakfast now so I made my way to a little restaurant overlooking the boat that I would be getting later. I stepped up there was a couple sitting having breakfast, a big Good Morning from them, are you taking the slow boat, do you have...

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My World Odyssey

Nov 27, 2006 - Day 75 - Boat toward Thailand - Day 1

We started our two day trip out of Laos very early in the morning. What was to follow was a 9hr journey with no stops. Turns out we were lucky as we had the 'posh' boat - ie. there were a few padded seats. The scenery was pretty spectacular, mainly because there are simply no people in Laos - as far as we could tell. As a result we were treated to great views of jungle covered rolling hills. The river itself was pretty interesting too. Littered with sandbanks and protruding rocks it provided some interesting, if a little hair raising...

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Aug 25, 2006 - Pak Beng, Laos

I am drafting this entry on the "slow boat" on the Mekong River, en route from Chiang Khong, Thailand to Luang Prabang, the old capital of Laos. This boat is long and narrow, in the Chinese style (about 3 m wide and 25 m long), seating 4 people across on wooden benches. It's called the slow boat to distinguish it from the terrifyingly fast speed boats that run this same route in a fraction of the time. Speed boat passengers have to don as much protective gear as NASCAR drivers: helmets, goggles, and ear plugs, as well as life preservers,...

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Aug 24, 2006 - Pak Beng - The Overnight Stop Over

Decided to get the slow boat up from Luangprabang to Huay Xai to do the Gibbon Experience and then on to Thailand. The slow boat (complete with lovely wodden seats) took about 10 hours of rather uncomfortable travel to arrive in the rather quiet and rustic town of Pat Beng. Found a reasonable guest house for 5 bucks a room. Shared with James. Met up with Nick and Matt on the boat, who hung out with us for the evening. Found a curry house, that strangely had the same menu as the Nisha restaurants we'd been to, food wasn't too different to it...

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Rich Goes Travelling

Aug 4, 2006 - Cattle Boating to Luang Prabang

The easiest way to get to Luang Prabang in Laos from Thailand is to cross the border and take a speed boat up the Mekong River. However, the same rains that washed out the roads on our trek also filled the Mekong with debris, making the speedboat more dangerous. The booking agent we talked to suggested that we take the slow boat, requiring two days of about 6 hours on the boat each. Well, apparently that's what everyone else heard too, and when we arrived at the boat there were absolutely no seats left. Rather than send two boats, the...

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Ed in Asia

Aug 2, 2006 - On the River

First day on the slow boat down the Mekong River We woke up to rain and were a bit anxious about our border crossing and what 2 full days sitting on a boat was really going to be like. There had been both unconditional and reserved recommendations for this slow boat adventure. We could see the docks from our guesthouse, so we headed there on foot. We arrived early because no time schedule seemed to be certain. We passed through the Thai immigration with no problems. Luckily all the locals knew what to do next so we were shuttled into a long...

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ADVENTURE!!!

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