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Near Disaster and Slow Boat to Pak Beng, Laos

THIS THING IS TOTALLY SCREWED UP, SO I CANT ADD PICTURES. AS I HAVE NEITHER THE TIME NOR PATIENCE TO DO THIS, THIS WILL BE THE LAST POST UNTIL I MANAGE TO GET IT FIXED, AFTER WHICH I’LL ADD POSTS ON A DAILY BASIS. SORRY.

We wake up early this morning for our supposed one hour van ride to the border town of Chiang Kong. Unfortunately our trip is interrupted when, coming down a mountain road, the brakes on the bus fail, we careen off and onto a side dirt road, run over several metal markers and come crashing to a halt, several of us flying through the bus. Fortunately, while most all of us have bumps, bruises and/or cuts, none of us appears to be seriously injured. Karl, our leader has double and triple checked with us on this, since their are good medical facilities in Thailand, but not for the next two days in Laos. We’re all somewhat shaken by the experience, though, recalling news stories we’ve read about tour buses careening off of mountains, with no survivors. Some might consider this a reason not to travel, but accidents, being accidents, can and do happen any time or place. Thailand has strict rules regarding vehicle safety and the tour operator is looking into whether the vehicles were maintained and inspected as required. One thing for sure, though: we’ll damn sure be wearing our seatbelts for the rest of the trip.

We continue on to the border, in two vans that have been sent to rescue us. We meet our Laotian guide, Pan, who escorts us across the river to Haui Xia, Laos. On the Laotian side our immigration papers are processed and we are delivered to our private boat for our two day river cruise to Luang Prabang. We spend the day on the boat enjoying and photographing along the way. The quiet day is especially welcome after the near disaster.

Tonight, after the leisurely river cruise on the scenic Mekong we arrive at Pak Beng, a sleepy jungle settlement where we check in to the hotel, and have dinner there.

18 comments to Near Disaster and Slow Boat to Pak Beng, Laos

  • Wendy

    That’s terrifying, Dadz. Amazed and thankful that everyone is relatively ok.
    Love you both.
    W.

  • lauri pollack

    OMG So glad you are ok..

    Hugs to you both

  • Susie Kiphart

    Thank goodness you are all ok. This is not a good way to get photos. Up for review. Take good care.

  • Sharon

    Whew! The image of it all is terrifying. Sending stress free safety vibes your way. Hope you resolve the blog photo issue. As a fellow blogger I know how frustrating this is. Enjoy a safe journey in Laos.

  • Zoe

    Glad you’re okay! Never travel again! (Except to Atlanta) 🙂

  • Barbara Sandler

    Very glad to hear you’re both okay. Hope the rest of your adventure is a more
    comfortable and rewarding experience. Will await details about the rest of
    your voyage. Love, Barbara

  • Eve Levine

    So scary! Am happy you all are ok. Do wear those seat belts! Take care. Hugs!

  • Phoebe

    Oh my goodness! That sounds very frightening. But I’m glad no one got seriously hurt.

    Are you feeling better sick wise?

    Love you,
    PRskie

  • Jean Zunkel

    Arnie and Carol,
    My worst nightmare! I am so glad that all of you are ok.
    Sending lots of good energy your way.
    Jean

  • Paul W

    Whoa! Darn glad it wasn’t worse being stirred and shaken like that. Trust there will be future memories that will settle you down. Sorry to learn about the uploading issues. Reduce your jpg size if you can. Check with your blog provider. Are there limitations on how much you can upload in one sitting ?
    ??

  • Jodi Kanter

    So glad you’re okay. It’s true that accidents happen anywhere. Careening off of mountains in tour buses, however, tends not to happen much on the north side of Chicago. At least that’s been my experience. Glad the trip is going well otherwise.
    Love,
    J.

  • Gil cornfield

    What drama but all is well that ends well.

  • Ahdina

    Oh Arnie and Carol–sending good thoughts your way. Hopefully this is the end of anymore frightening experiences. Hugs to you both. Ahdina

  • fred gordon

    omg, how fortunate that you came thru’ OK!

    wishing speedy rest & recuperation…

  • Sounds like y’all are getting adventure, good and hard. Safe travels my brother.

  • arnie

    Thanks, Paul. The photo stuff is screwed up and I don’t have energy to deal with it now, so it’s just gonna need to be what it is for this trip. Sorry.

  • Beth osten

    Yikes!!! Glad you’re both ok.

  • Ruby Bendersky

    Having taken many truly scary bus “rides” in foreign lands, I can say you are so lucky everyone is relatively ok.

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