Slow boat. Night train. Tuk-tuk. How have I traveled? Let me count the ways… Yes, I have employed quite a few methods of transportation on this trip, but none quite as unique as the “slow boat” ride on the Mekong River from northern Thailand to Luang Prabang, Laos. The whole trip took two days — about 14 hours on the water in a traditional long boat that has been used on the Mekong for centuries. However, lest I give the wrong impression, this boat was filled with “falang,” that is, Westerners of every nationality. It was a hardier lot than you might see elsewhere in SE Asia, though. After all, sitting on a hard wooden bench for that long does limit who gets on the boat. To ease the journey, we did have cushions, and an ample supply of beer.
After hearing some decidely mixed reviews, the boat ride turned out to be a wonderful mix of social outing and relaxing introspection, not to mention an amazing way to experience the Mighty Mekong and the gorgeous Laos countryside. Best of all, it carried me and my companions away from the hectic scene in Thailand and into the laid back land of Laos. Check out some pictures from the slow boat and stayed tuned for more from Laos.