Taking the slowboat down the Mekong River from Chiang Khong, Thailand, to Luang Prabang, Laos, is probably one of the most discussed modes of transportation in Southeast Asia, but we had heard mixed reviews. The boat trip takes two full days, stopping in Pakbeng, a little village in Laos for the night, where you arrange your own accommodation before embarking again at 8 a.m. The views are incredible, the pace is relaxing, and you spend two days getting to know other travelers. The only downside is that the boats comfortably sit about 70 people, but are known for selling about 100 tickets during the high season, leaving many people without seats. It’s a crapshoot. It could be a perfect two-day commute if we got lucky… but if not, we might end up sitting on the floor of a wooden boat for two days. I told Brian to make the call. He made the right one.
The slowboat was one of the highlights of my time in Southeast Asia. In fact, every time I hear someone say “it’s not the destination it’s the journey” I think about our time rolling down the Mekong.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.