Asia | South East Asia | Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) | Mekong – and a boat
Eventually we left at eleven o’clock. It’s a small boat, we are not allowed on the roof. No toilet, so we have to wait until the captain has the need to go. After 5 hours he makes a toilet stop on the bank. A wooden bench to sit on, no room to stand. But…the temperature is nice, and it is nice to look at the villages we are passing, the woods, the water, the people. Nothing to do but looking, thinking, dreaming. In a few years the slow boats will be gone, I feel blessed. Around five we stopped. We all got a place to sleep in a very basic guest house, had some noodle soup, rice and beer Lao. The children of the village enjoyed our jokes and playing with them. At seven the people went to sleep. No electricity, so darkness, real darkness. We went to the border of the river. Flat on our backs we looked at an amazing sky, full of stars, and enjoyed the silence only ‘disturbed’ by the sound of the river.
We were supposed to leave at six but the captain had to barbecue his squirrel for lunch so we left at eight. I have a stomach problem and took some immodium, but the absence of a toilet is a problem now. I’m feeling sick and we are not going to make it to Huay Xai today.
Around noon we stopped, and with a few other backpackers I arranged a speedboat to Huay Xai. The stomach problem and the slow boat were no ideal combination. The speedboat was the first fast experience I had in Laos. It was very noisy, but fortunately one of us had some cotton for our ears, less room to sit than in the slow boat. I’m feeling sick and very, very tired. Tomorrow I’m going to leave Laos and I know I’m going to miss it.