Home > Uncategorized > Opps [Laos]

Opps [Laos]

After 3 long travel days in a row with just a few bucks in our pocket we arrived in Vietnam. Our last day in Laos was bitter sweet. In order to cross into Vietnam from Laos we had to decide if we take the border in the south which is traveled often or take the border crossing in the north which is the road less traveled. We decided on the North. Like most Laos travel days the scenery was amazing. After a few hours on a bus followed by a two hour boat ride we arrived in Maung Ngoi – where the drama started.

The fishing boat we traveled on was packed with supplies for the river side village as the only access is by boat. Naturally all the travelers on board started to help unload the goods as we were the ones who would eventually eat the stuff. After carrying the supplies up into the village and visiting a few places to sleep I panic as I realize my small day pack is not with me. Not just any day pack, the day pack that holds our passports, credit cards, cash and pretty much anything else you would consider important.

Running up the village “road” and down to the dock, the bag is gone. Here we are in a small remote village only accessible by boat,

On our way to the boat...

 there is no electricity, phone or internet and our stuff has vanished. We meet with a “police officer” in a chicken coop where he takes the details of what was inside. All I keep thinking is how are we ever going to get out of this remote village in this remote country with no passports, money or identification. To say the tension between the two of us was thick might be a bit of an understatement.

Sitting and waiting for the officer to run through the village Amy urges me to check the dock one more time. As I do the boat captain comes running up the steps with my pack that he “found” over his shoulder. After looking through the pack I find our passports, credit cards, camera and ID all in place -everything there but 500,000 kip or 70 bucks. Any other time I would greatly trade 70 bucks for my stuff back, but again with no electricity don’t think you are going to find an ATM. With enough money to spend the night in some shady guesthouse, we split a plate of fried rice for dinner and baguette for breakfast – we were left with 67 cents after paying for the bus.

Lesson learned – don’t leave your stuff on a dock (obviously), but if you do, do it in a small village where they have no need for digital cameras, ATM cards or passports.

I’ll talk about getting food poisoning that night another time. We’re just glad to be out of that place – although it was beautiful.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    So here’s my question – when you’re tubing down the river, what do you do with your pack? Do you wrap it in a plastic bag and keep it on you? I would never let that thing out of my sight, but in situations like tubing what do you do?

  2. Ben
    May 13, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Could have easily become “Brokedown Palace 2” real fast. So glad you got your stuff back.

  3. November 9, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Can I ask where this was exactly? We’re in Laos now, just came through the south and in our 20 months of travel we’ve never had a more frustrating 24 hours. So far I can’t say I’m loving this place…

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