From Thailand to Laos - September 5th to 6th 2016

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After ending our trip in Thailand with an amazing stay in a Buddhist temple, we crossed the border between Thailand and Laos and went down the Mekong River during two days!

Actually we took a local bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong, the city at the border on the Thailand side. The tricky part is that the bus drops off travellers on the road in the middle of nowhere, at 4 km of the border… It looks like they have an agreement with the tuktuk drivers, who were waiting for us when we got off the bus. For only 4 km, they charged us more than what we paid the bus driver for the 100 km between Chiang Rai and Chiang Khong! (100 vs 65 THB/pers.) The border was quite empty…

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The Thai immigration office and the Lao immigration office are separated by the Mekong River which represents the border between the two countries! So we took a shuttle bus (another 35 THB/pers.) and crossed the border thanks to the newly built Friendship Bridge between Thailand and Laos, across the Mekong River. Note that two years ago, when the bridge was not built, crossing the border was done by boat, from the centre of Chiang Khong to the centre of Huay Xai, the Lao city on the other side. Today only Thai and Lao people can use this way, tourists have to pay to go to the bridge, cross the bridge and go to Huay Xai.

Huay Xai was just a transit city for us, we spent one night there (just to admire a wonderful sunset over the Mekong River)…

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Sunset in Huay Xai

… and the day after, we left on the slow boat to start descending the Mekong River during two days. We were so excited about this and we were not disappointed! The landscapes were amazing, above our expectations. The boat goes in the middle of green moutains, under the sun, and then the mist, making the water of the river changing from cocoa brown to clear blue.

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The slow boats waiting for us
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The cruise took two days to reach Luang Prabang, with a stop over in Pakbeng for one night. It was very relaxing watching life going by on the banks of the river from our long wooden boat. Surely a good way to go deeper in the centre of Laos!

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First sunset in Luang Prabang

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