Riding The Slow Boat To Luang Prabang, Laos by Jeffrey Donenfeld 2013/05/25 Taking the slow boat to Laos is a travel pilgrimage that I had heard of for years, and after a few days in Chiang Mai, I was finally ready to embark on the journey. View Larger Map By the time we hit the border, it was 3 in the morning. A few quick winks of sleep, and then back up to start the river journey. Luckily, I started with a great breakfast with friends while watching sunrise over the Mekong River After stamping out at Chiang Kong, everybody is piled into a longtail boat and taken across the river into the Lao bordertown of Huay Xai, where restamping happens. Overall a mostly smooth process – although only cash is accepted for the Laotian visa, and there’s no easily accessible ATM near the customs office – bring money. The slow boat is slow, and most of the day was spent relaxing on the water and watching the countryside go by. At the end of the first day, the boat stopped at the small town of Pakbeng, where all the tourits are aggressively marketed to, and ushered to various guesthouses – they’re all mostly the same, and relatively decent. Evening in Pakbeng was nice, with some good food and good beers! The second day started with another beautiful sunrise and breakfast, and then back on the boat for the final leg of the journey. Finally arriving in Luang Prabang, I hiked up to the road, and shared a TukTuk into town with a few fellow travelers.