Taking slow boat to Laos is kind of a standard once you are in northern Thailand and your Thai visa is off. Crossing border to Lao is easy. No photo? No problem. $1 more to your visa and we will make a copy of your passport. Have some extra baht to get rid of? We can take care of this also. Do you prefer kips or dollars? Welcome to Laos – “Same same, but better”.
Slow boat stands by its name. It takes time. Two days, one night off boat, no wifi. Chill out, squeeze with 90 other people on the boat, enjoy tasty beer Lao and spend all the baht that were forgotten in the pocket on what is on boat and enjoy the landscape that is pretty much “same same” all the time.
I should have titled this post “How I spend two days on a slow boat to Lao and came up with two seems-to-be-brilliant business ideas“. I’m pretty sure in that case the bookings on slow boat would quadruple. The truth is I was freakin bored on boat, the company was not the exaclty of my choice, I ended up reading some ebooks from my phone, thinking of all (im)possible stuff. And yes, I should totally disconnect more often. Looks like Laos is the place for it.
Pretty much everyone was surprised that I was insisting that I’m still gonna be available for my clients while in Laos. Internet is really not the best, but doable. In the cities they recently got some 3G/4G, but the problem is that all country is a village. Sims are cheap, 10000 kip/1 GB. Internet? We are still on 2G & GPRS 🙂 Same same, but we have communism! Don’t expect you will be able to push basic 35MB wordpress site live on FTP. Forget VPN. Don’t cut your veins, don’t lose your mind, don’t waste time. Wait until you get to Vietnam or somewhere else. And all those signs for free wifi in front of restaurants – you might be lucky to send a whatsapp when there are more than two people that abuse internet.
Speed test results from Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng. Not to mention internet is sometimes so weak, that speed test is failing to run.
After reaching Luang Prabang, I was so awsomely excited that couldn’t fall asleep, spent half night trying to google all ideas that I got on slow boat, figured out that almost nothing like this exists, now it is just a question – it doesn’t exists because my ideas are so brilliant or there is no market for it. Well, I met so many funky people back in Chiang Mai making living from all (im)possible things. So, wrap it up nicely and make the best you can!
Laos is charming. People are pretty much laid back. They smile all the time. Kids are running around and laughing all the time. Big smiles everywhere. I heard “tuk tuk tuk” just once. No pressure, take it easy. Need something? Ask for it, we will help you. Still don’t know what’s the point of having minimum 5 crepes food stands at the same corner and 10 sandwich stands on the next one. All sell the same. Same same, but better. 🙂 Shower is always just above the toilet?? I don’t know but I don’t take the shower at the same time when sitting on the toilet. Shower fast, as water pressure might drop to zero once you are in the the middle of shampooing 🙂 In best case there will be someone just outside the bathrooms and you won’t need to run with foam in your hair to the reception and ask to put water pump back to power.
Waterfalls around Luang Prabang are stunning. Don’t think you just discovered the most forgotten place on the Earth and enjoy your little heaven as one hour later the waterfalls gonna be packed by Chinese and Koreans. Packed.