We stayed just over the boarder for the night in a rickety little hut, where I got no sleep due in part by the strange noises all around my hut, but also because we were literally in the middle of nowhere and I could not figure out how to securely lock my door. Just got all up in my head and freaked myself out.
The next morning we boarded a long boat to travel down the Mekong River. This was really cool, and beautiful, especially for the first 3-4 hours. After that the boat just got really crowded with both tourists and locals, squeezing mire and more people onto the boat until in places we were scraping the bottom of the river due to the excessive weight. Bags were eventually moved to the roof of the boat and people were sitting on the floor in the engine room. I was just waiting for them to start boarding livestock next. For 9 hours we were on the slow long boat, until at around 6pm we landed in Louang Prabang.
The town was picturesque and peaceful from the moment I arrived. It is a bit touristy, but not overwhelmingly so. I stayed at Sakura Guesthouse which was nestled on a quiet little street about a 10 minute walk away from the night market. I found that most people spoke decent English and it was easy to get by day to day. The only problem, which was hardly a problem at all, was that I picked the wrong month to visit. In April the farmers are biting their fields so the sky is always smokey and cloudy. Really not too bad in the city though. I think October would be a nicer time to visit.
I should mention that at this point I have decided that I need to stop acting so much like a tourist and biting my precious funds on excursion after excursion, so most of my days in Laos were spent simply exploring the city and reading. It was really a wonderful experience, and if I haven't already planned my trip back to Chiang Mai for the Songkran Festival I would have gladly extended my stay. The only excursion I did plan was a day trip to the Pak Ou Cave and Kuang Si Waterfall. The Pak Ou Cave was cool, but honestly is hardly worth the entrance fee. It consists of 2 caves in the rock face along the Mekong River. Each cave is filled with hundreds, maybe even thousands of Buddha statues. The Kuang Si Falls, which are only about 45 drive outside of the city are much, much more worth the trip and the equal entrance fee. The falls consist of 1 giant waterfall and countless smaller falls, all collecting into pristine, cool, clear blue pools. There is a main pool where most visitors hang out that has a rope swing and where you can jump from one waterfall into a deep pool below, but if you want you can also easily find your own peaceful, secluded pool. There is even a little trekking path that takes about 15 minutes to walk that takes you trough the jungle, around the falls. You would think this place would be packed with tourists but its really not too bad. If I ever come back to Louang Prabang I will definitely be spending an entire day chilling out at there falls.
I was really sad to be leaving Laos after my short, 6 day stay. If I am ever back in this region, and I plan to eventually come back to visit Vietnam, I will definitely plan to spend more time in this beautiful country.