The Mekong river starts in China and continues through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and ends in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. I want to go from Luang Prabang to Ban Houayxay (or Huay Xai) and the Mekong river connects these two places, it offers me an alternative to the 12-hour journey on a night bus.
I hava two choices on the Mekong river: a 5-6 hours trip on a fast boat or a 2 day trip on a slow boat. After reading about deadly accidents with the fast boats, I am opting to take the slow boat.
I book a ticket in Luang Prabang at one of the many shops which sell tours and tickets. The next morning at 07:30 someone will pick me up at my hotel in Luang Prabang and take me to the pier for the river cruise which departs at 08:00.
The next morning I am sitting in front of my hotel with my backpack, ready to go on the Mekong river cruise. The clock shows I am well in time and I wait patiently to be picked up. After a while I start to worry a bit and check the time: 07:45 and nobody is there to take me to the pier. The manager of the hotel is calling the ticket oficce. No answer.