I write this to you from the city of Luang Prabang in Laos. I took the fast boat from Chiang Khong, Thailand in a most egregious fashion, it’s true.
The border crossing is odd, I have plenty of videos I will share with you later. The fast boat is 1600 baht, the slow boat 1000 baht. The fast boat was a trip, let me tell you.
Tip: Bring $US to pay your visa, you need a photo, but you don’t. I didn’t have one. They charge you 40baht as a peanlty.
If you take the fast boat this will probably be the series of stages you go through on your most interesting journey. The fast boat just seemed like a fun once in a life time experience, it most certainly was. It’s exhilarating and you truly feel alive. It’s one of the top handful of moments on this trip I’ll probably never forget.
I have lots of footage, a full vlog to come.
These are the stages on the fast boat:
Hour 1: WOW! This thing is sick, WOOOHOOO “So LONG SUCKERS” as you blaze past numerous slow boats.
Hour 2: This place is beautiful, I’m not so comfy.
Hour 3: When are we stopping for lunch, my knees are throbbing.
Stop for Lunch: You get to the place where the slow boat stops, you’re like ok, this place is cool for about 30 minutes.
Hour 4: My knees are killing me, really killing.
Hour 5: FML!!! As you move around trying to get comfortable, but to no avail.
Hour 6: Wow, This is going to be over soon, I surrender to the pain, ignore ignore. The sun is setting, wow this place is beautiful. I’m glad it’s over but that was a fun ride. I will never forget my drag race down the Mekong.
Hour 7: Ahhh I’m in Luang Prabang, now what am I going to do!?
Tip: GET YOUR HUSTLE ON! Make sure you sit in the front, you can extend your legs.
You see, those are the stages you go through on the most epic adventure that is the fast boat to Laos. Do I regret it? NO WAY. I figure that I will have plenty of opporunities to take slow boats in the future. Furthermore, whenever I go on a long road trip, I am always in the fast lane, occasionally maxing out all that my kompressor can do, to be in the slow lane would be like going on a trip to visit grandma when I was a kid. I will note, a friend ofm ine who is a linebacker said it was h3llish, I can imagine. This guy is 6’3… I’m only 5’10 and it was still really tight. I can’t imagine how he did it, I salute him.
I will note that our “fast boat” broke down, I told the captain that if the slow boat passed us, I’d have an aneurysm, it did pass us, horrible. We made up the time quickly though. It’s NOT as crazy as everyone says. The fast boat is crazy because it’s a long boat with a car motor on the back, ha. Therefor it’s just like a big open canoe kinda. Also if you did hit a rock you’d be screwed but it’s not like “joe driver” has that in mind, he is “one with the river” or wahtever… Going through the rapids was exhilirating. I feel like I got from point a-b, went to a theme park, broke my knees all over again and went white water rafting all in one day. Also lots of fishing going on, the Mekong has the world’s largest catfish, I’d love to pull in one of those lunkers and have a “shore lunch” that could feed a small city.
The slow boat was actually quite empty, I’d be a liar and not true to the “Iyashinoshigoto” manifesto that I haven’t written yet if I didn’t say there were times that I looked at the slow boat and fantasized about being in it. That said, the grass is always greener, had I been in the slow boat, I’d of been like man, this boat sucks I wish I was in the fast boat. Supposedly however, day 2 they send way less slow boats so it’s crowded to all h3ll, who knows though? I have no clue how many KM the trip is but it goes on forever and ever and ever.
My boat was 2 Israeli guys who looked like they were going to die in the first half, these 2 Swedes who I have concluded are a couple, despite one of them having grey hair and the other being younger than myself and some guy from the Netherlands.
I took a tuk tuk with my boat to the city center after the gents managed to haggle the driver down a full 60%, I will say I respect how he got the price lower but what he had to go through was nuts, it was also really awkward to watch / be involved in. Having said that, I now realize that I typically cave in way too fast, then again for $0.50 I typically just don’t care… I like helping stimulate local economies via over-priced tuk tuks, significant numbers of skewers, shakes and anything else that whet’s my appetite. It kinda makes me a quasi-philantropist, ok I’m reaching here.
We arrived and one of the Swedes pulled out a lonely planet, I went and asked these hippies where the good places are. They told me, I walked back and told the crew “Over here near the bakery is where all the good / cheap places are” they ignored me and all crowded around a guide book, snore. I just kept walking as I told them, didn’t even really break my step to be honest.
My guest house is nice, really nice, really really nice for 70,000Kip(sp?) a night. That’s ~$9US, no wifi though. Being here, you realize how Thailand is actually VERY modernized. Thailand is the BOMB, it’s like the perfect blend. Singapore is more modern than back home and the price shows that. Thailand has everything that you want AND MORE at a huge discount compared to the Western World.
I was wondering what was going on with the slow boat and how my French friend was doing while eating an oversized chicken skewer for ~$0.70. I saw these 2 gorgeous twins so I went over and made some ridiculous small talk. Then I realized they were French and loved that I spoke French. We eat dinner together etc… Knowing French is awesome, I’m glad I’m fluent.
P.S: Jworthy – The book is “Revolutionary Wealth” it’s a good one. Typically I get shy around big books as they are intimidating, this one I wish was longer and you read a few pages then just think about it, digesting if you will.