Jan 26, 2010
Day 24, Jan 25, pak lai to vientane
I'm on the Mekong right now travelling to vientane by boat. The slow boat goes 3 times a week and the trip is 8 hrs. So far a great journey. The boat has actual seats, room for 100 passengers but we are only 20. After a couple of tight bends the river swings to the east and the southern bank is already Thailand.
Most the time I'm lazying away the time on the roof which allows me sunshine, a steady breeze and an unhindered view.
In the meantime I have arrived in vientane already. This boat journey was possibly one of the best I ever have taken (the other one the 5 day trip down the amazon from manaus to belem). It really turned out to be 8 hrs travel time in which we put maybe 200 km behind us. The scenery was not as exciting as up on the nam ou, nonetheless what made this trip outstanding was the almost sullen air, the uncrowdiness of the boat, the subtle but steady change of the river and its surroundings including the human life along it.
Bicycling the remaining 7 km from the boatlanding into town took me back not only into civilisation but also into the hustle and bustle of apparently busy city.
In order to keep a relaxed state of mind I checked into a guesthouse on the fringes of vientane, an almost hidden compound with old Lao style buildings within a garden setting.
Km 15.1, Ave 20.7, Tm 0.43