Just before Christmas, when Erin’s folks got here, we crossed the border into Houayaxi, northern Laos via Chang Rai, Thailand. We were set to take a slow boat down the Mekong River. This is the #1 thing to do in Laos and is a 2 day journey. There was a cold front that had moved through Eastern Asia the day before, so we experienced our first cold weather of the trip. We gathered all the warm clothes we had (or essentially layers of our warm clothes) and set off. The roughly 450 km trip is absolutely gorgeous with stunning surroundings. After about 8 hours of motoring and 1 stop at a local village, we arrived in Pakbeng for the evening. The next day we set off for the 2nd half of our journey. We stopped at another village, were educated on the production of sticky rice, and then continued on to a temple that had been built in a large cave. We explored the cave and then got back on the boat, finishing our roughly 10 hour journey to Luang Prabang, the ancient capital and a UNESCO world heritage sight (the entire city). Here are some photos from the slow boat trip.