The next morning we caught a bus back to Chiang Mai, which was missing the window at Brooke's seat. We got there on the eve of the king's birthday, a national holiday. The ride was sooooo pretty. Even with the sardine packed, baby crying, crazy drunk tourists- it was still ridiculous. On the night of the King's birthday we were hitting up all of the 100s of vendors that line the downtown streets and right as we were getting some tom yum soup and papaya salad, the King's national song comes on and everyone stops... for about 10 minutes.
Next day we took the long awaited Thai cooking class which turned out to be a quick over view of Thai cooking along with the fullest we have been in a long time. Tina learned that 4 chillis is too much. But it was a good experience and we got cookbooks, so get the palm sugar and chilli sauce ready. The next morning we left for the slow boat that would take us into Laos. The ride to the Thai border was long, and we ended up staying the night in a town called Chiang Kong with Laos just across the river. Chiang Kong turned out to be a delightful little city for which we can thank Malwaaen, our sweet Thai guesthouse owner. Got our visa for 35 bucks and jumped on the slow boat for Pakbeng, Laos. Take a big motor boat, put a bar in the back, and line it with carseats taken from the back of pickup trucks and voila you have a slowboat. The first day was about 6 hours and ended at the halfway point, a just-for-tourists-stopping-by river town called Pakbeng. We were talked into having a free shot, for happy hour, at a nearby bar/restaurant where we had our first taste of Lao whiskey... which could have been our last because of the sweetness and overall taste. Unfortunately we didn't plan accordingly with our money and exchanging it so we ended up losing some money in having to pay in US dollars and Thai baht.
|Just another photo of the MeKONG!|
|Scary Buddha Eyes!|
|I spy .... a BUDDHA!|
We saw the most beautiful sunset and golden full moon and arrived 90 minutes late. We are currently staying at the Organic Mulberry Farm just before the city. The farm is known for its Mulberry Pancakes and the opportunity to milk the goats, teach English and protest the loud and over the top river bars music, due to the tubing that goes on here. We plan on going rock climbing and tubing tomorrow, and the rest we shall find out soon...