Two hours in a very authentic local bus brought me to Chiang Khong this morning. Not much to do there: one street, no traffic lights, two monasteries. Small wooden longboats ferry passengers across the Mekong river to Houay Xay in Laos, for one euro, where it takes a few minutes to “check in” to Laos. Houay Xay is a small village as well, but more scenic with a small hill with – what else – a monastery on top. It feels poorer but friendlier than the Thai side. First I had a light lunch, paying fifty thousand kip. One of those currencies with way too many zeroes.
There’s a local volunteer aid program for local villages in Houay Xay, called Project Kajsiab Laos. (See Facebook.) They operate a guesthouse and restaurant, and I went to their communal dinner and chatted with the volunteers until late.