Taking the slow boat from the Thai/ Laos border through to Luang Prabang is equally slow and painful, as well as idyllic and beautiful. The narrow wooden seats (or floor space for the not so fortunate) are painful and 7 hours in the same position is most definitely unforgettable!
However, the river itself which winds down through the Laos countryside is absolutely stunning, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains of lush, dense jungle and rice paddies. The first day comes to an end at the small country town of Pak Beng. This small town exists to serve the purpose of accommodating travelers on their trip to Luang Prabang as well as serving the opium (and most other drug) requirements of anyone interested.
The evening was spent watching the England v Germany World Cup match and relaxing with a couple of beers. Far too early the next morning we are all back on the boat, this time a different boat which is smaller and yet manages to accommodate even more passengers than the previous day.
Another day of floating, reading and card playing slow drifts by as we carry on down river and the scenery gets even more dramatic with huge mountains and the odd temple spotted don a hillside. Arriving in Luang Prabang is a relief to everyone as we all begin to unfold ourselves and stretch legs after a 9 hour journey.
Luang Prabang is a lovely little town with lots of cafes and temples and perfect for strolling around and supping on coffees . . .