Its mixed feelings this morning, sad to be leaving the relaxing tranquility of Don Det but exited to be heading to the bustling Bangkok, one of our favourite cities in the world.
We catch a boat across the Mekong to the mainland, then walk 300 metres to the bus station where backpackers congregate before the 2 hour bus journey to Pakse. Once there, we are dropped at the Green Paradise travel agency where we wait with four Malaysian guys for a minivan to the border. One arrives with only four seats, so another is called and as it is empty, we tour around Pakse picking up people before finally heading to the border.
A guide meets us from the van and takes us to be stamped out of Laos. This process involves swapping your passport for a ticket, handing the ticket and 10000 kip in at a separate window where a second ticket is issued, then returning to the first window where you get your passport back.
With our guide leading, we walk down the road, through a tunnel and into the Thai immigration building. Entry forms are filled and stamps issued and we are in Thailand. Our guide then bundles us into a tuk tuk and within 5 minutes we are at the bus station where we swap our ticket for an overnight bus ticket. The whole process was pretty smooth for a boat, bus, minivan, tuk tuk journey and all the Green Paradise people were very helpful.
The bus is a double decker and we are sat downstairs behind the drivers cabin. We set off at 6pm and curtains are drawn and lights turned off straight away. I can’t sleep yet as it only 6pm, so I continue to boost my phone’s ego by allowing it to beat me at chess. Eventually I get tired and I start to drop off and the lights come on. Its 1am, obviously time for food! Despite the hour, I enjoy our complimentary noodle soup and red drink but I’m awake again and struggle to get back to sleep.