Alan and Jan went to Luang Prabang with Janet and John

From Chiang Rai an early start had us in Laos by 9am. It was Sunday so we paid extra and almost certainly unofficial staff “overtime” each side of the border – just 5 baht (10 pence) in Thailand but 40 baht (80 pence) in Laos!
The Lao currency is the KIp. There are 13,000 to the UK Pound, 8,000 to the US Dollar and so we were thrown into confusion trying to work between all these currencies – prices are often quoted in Kips, Dollars and Baht, but not the Pound, and all accepted in most places!
From the border we were taken in a sorngtaaou (vehicle see pics) to the poser where after a period of milling about and uncertainty we boarded boat number 25 with around 70 others for the 6 hour ride to the town of Pak Beng. The timber boats have seen better days but remain serviceable. The old bus seats that have been installed, mostly unfixed, make for a comfortable enough ride with the help of an 80p cushion!
And so we glided along the massive river taking in the sights along the way. Occasionally we passed other boats, animals and people on the shore and from time to time one of the fast boats which make the same journey in less than a day roared past us.

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