Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I have to say that Pakbeng was one of the worst places I have ever satyed in my life. Not the place itself nor the place I stayed (Bounmy Guest House - 150 baht a night and no rats with an excellent restaurant), but just the attitude. If one place gives an indication of what Laos might become, like many other South East Asian countries, this is it.

They have quickly learnt that you are either fresh off he boat from Chiang Khong and like a startled rabbit in a car's headlights or you have come from Luang Prabang and realise you are trapped for the night.

Everything is overpriced and of poor quality. You will be gone in the morning. The waiters and cooks double up as opium and dope dealers. End of Pakbeng rant.

Slowboat (Day 1)

Left Heritage Guest House at about 06:30 to watch the monks walking through town for alms.

It was a sight you probably dont see on such a scale anywhere elsein the world. Cool. Had a couple of black coffees and bought a tuna baguette and some water for the slowboat journey.

Arrived at the pier at about 08:00 and checked in at the ticket booth. Boat left at 09:00. The boat was only about half full and I was glad to see had cushions and a large supply of Beer Laos.

Some people were asking how long in would take from Louang Prabang to Pakbeng. Six hours? Seven hours? Don't believe a word, upstream it takes nine and a half hours. Yes nine and a half hours to Pakbeng.

The journey however was pleasant with great scenery, water buffalo and elephants along the banks. We arrived at Pakbeng in near darkness at 18:15. Not a bad day and had met some interesting people and some complete bores to.