Me and my travel mate have rushed through Loas, we spent so long in Vietnam that we are now a little short for time so need to get back to Thailand ASAP. The fast boat from Luang Prubang to Chiang Khong is no doubt the option. We book our tickets for the following morning and have to be at the river for 6am so we also book a Tuk Tuk for the following morning at 5:30am from our guest house. That evening we just have a wonder around, it is a shame we can't stay longer as I have hear some good things about Luang Prubang. After the worst Green Curry ever we head back to the guest house to get some kip. It is still early so we go and read on the balcony type communal area. Some friendly American sits next to us and starts talking about New Zealand and how much he loves it.
So our alarms wake us at 5:15am or something after a pretty good nights sleep apart from the monks singing at 4 in the morning. Honestly who gets up at 4 in the morning to sing really loud, that is just unbelievable. Our Tuk Tuk driver is already outside waiting and before long we are burning through the empty streets to the river. When we arrive the Tuk Tuk driver tries to fleece us by 4 times what we agreed to pay at the guest house. I was not in the mood for this 5hit and didn't have the money he wanted anyway, so literally just laughed at him and walked off.
The first site of the fast boats that we would be travelling in was a little scary. The boats are about 15 foot long can fit 8 passengers and a driver at the back. Each person gets a crash helmet and a life jacket and a tiny cushion as thick as a carpet to sit on. You have 25 cm2 each and your knees come up to the side of your head. How am I going to sit like this for 7 hours? So we get in the third boat to leave. I put my walkman on and quickly realise that I can not hear anything but the engine even at full blast. And we are off.
And this was me and my mate in our speed boat.
Fcuking in hell these boats are so loud and fast, absolutely rinsing it down the river. It is a great way to see this part of the Mekong with people fishing etc at the side by their villages. The boat is so bloody uncomfortable it is untrue, but still the slow boat which takes 3 days would nail. At least we stop off every 2 hours on some floating bamboo in the middle of no where. Of all the places I have been so far in SE Asia , this probably does feel like the furthest away I have been. If the boat had been hi-jacked I am sure that no-one would know for days. We cain it round tight bends next to sharp rock, this is a real life roller coaster, this driver better not crash as we are sure to be dead if we hit one of these rock faces.
Have you ever smelt rotting flesh or a dead body before? Well neither had I, but the first time I did I knew what it was without seeing the carcass. I could smell it from 50m or so away it was so strong, and as we burnt around the corner at break neck speeds I saw a body of a man floating in the river face down. The body was black and the smell was the worst thing I have ever smelt. I couldn't understand why people were fishing right next to it, what is that all about? We are also in the middle of no where, 20 seconds later it is already miles behind us. I can't believe I just saw a dead human body floating in the Mekong I thought to myself as we travel at light speed on the surface of the river.
When we get to the border it is such a happy sight. We get off the boat with perforated ear drums and legs that feel like they did not have any blood in what so ever. I really can't explain how uncomfortable that journey was but also what an experience it was.