The agenda was full; several things that needed to be accomplished. We were off in search of the Phaya Naga (in Lao: Ngeuk) – the mythological river dragons, we were going to eat a rat, damnit, and we were committed to helping the lovely family that runs our guesthouse fill its rooms for tonight. Continue reading
I live not on evil, I thought, I live on sweets…desserts, I stressed, desserts were on my radar. So, I went to the ATM to repaper my wallet then approached a street vendor, “Madam,” I said, drab as a fool, aloof as a bard, “I need a reviver. Perhaps a smoothie.” “no lemon, no melon,” she replied. Therefore, my initial testset was a chocolate croissant. So good. I won’t give you all the stats, but I can tell you it’s as level good as your mom or dad would make, maybe better. It’s my civic duty to tell you, that I have deified this pastry…would sing solos to it, run, bike, fly just to get another. I’d take a Toyota, a racecar, even a kayak for another bite. It is a basic tenet of traveling, always partake of the sugary dewed street food.
(inspired by the date 31-8-13 which struck me as numerically palindromic. I managed to cram 21 palindromes in the above.)
So, yeah, no boat for me this morning, or yesterday morning, probably not tomorrow morning either.
I came to Pakbeng for a one night stay during a two day cruise down the mightly Mekong. My personal raft is apparently stuck on this sandbar. Oh sure, the actual boats come and go each morning happily moving travelers onward to the next destination, but the motivation to board one of these has not yet filled me. Consequently, here I sit in this hamlet along the muddy river, charting daily the rise and fall of the water level, whiling away my time in cafes or trying to get a pickup game of badminton, happily in the company of my new friend Leanne.
As a transit town, there are hardly ever any people here for more than a night. So as the locals become familiar with our faces, they become more interested, smiles come easier, and drink orders are recalled. I suspect another week here and we could probably become registered voters. Continue reading
The slow boat to Luang Prabang from Huay Xai leaves at 11am from a ‘dock’ about 2 kms outside of town. A bus takes some of us over there from the city centre at 9:30, leaving us some time to get a coffee and provisions for the boat ride. We will be on the boat for some six hours today, ending up in a town called Pakbang. We will be left to find accommodation for the night then rejoin the boat the following morning at 8:30. Continue reading
The day starts early. Leanne and I meet for breakfast at 7:15. She is taking a couple weeks off traveling to simply breathe. Me, well, I’m to be on a boat at 8:30 according to my line of thinking yesterday, but as the time approaches, I am less inclined to move. When in doubt about a next step, sometimes it is best to stand still. So that’s what I’ve decided to do. Continue reading
My wanderings today take me to Laos. The bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong leaves at 9am and takes roughly six hours. It makes a brief stop in Chiang Rai which brings back so many good memories of the White Temple, the Black House, and the IHF Rescue House for children. I’m taking the Green Line because its cheap, quite comfortable, and my past experience was positive. The ticket is 451 baht (~$15US) and can be bought at the Chiang Mai bus terminal. Continue reading