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Laos: Fast Slow Boat

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Fast Slow Boat | Laos | Asia

[Visited: January 2001]

Laos is still very much overgrown by the jungle. The population being quite small means that there has not been a strong drive to construct roads on a big scale. Therefore, the many rivers provide for an extensive infrastructure. A boat trip in Laos is therefore the most natural way of transportation. Someone wishing to travel by boat has to decide whether to take the "slow slow", the "fast slow", or the "fast fast" boat. The latter being too unromantic, the former too slow, we decided to take the "fast slow".

Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Fast slow boat

So on New Years Day we found ourselves on a misty quay of Luang Prabang waiting for boat 084 to leave. Increasing popularity of Laos as a tourist destination showed itself in the proportion of foreigners against Laotians: 23 to 5. With some fake flowers on the bow of the boat we set off for an upriver trip to Huay Xay. Once again we realized that this country is still largely empty - we navigated for hours without seeing a single village. Just dense vegetation. The night was spent in a rustic settlement on the banks of the river.

Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Fast slow boat

The last excitement of the trip was when we ran out of petrol just 2 kms. away from our destination. After putting together the last drops of fuel left in the empty jerrycans, our boatmen were able to take us to shore. Although the trip had been a long two days with always the loud noise of the engines in our ears, we missed being on that boat the next day.

Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Fast slow boat
Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Fast slow boat
Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Fast slow boat
Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Pakbeng village
Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Fast slow boat
Picture of Fast Slow Boat (Laos): Bathing in Mekong River

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