Neil the Northern Irishman always wore a green cap.
He boarded the minibus, with a clinking plastic bag bulging with Chang beer bottles, and a toothy grin on his face. It was 9am. He excitedly introduced himself to Cindy, myself, and the driver in his thick Irish drawl. These three days could be pretty entertaining, I thought to myself. He cracked a beer, took a seat, and starting running through his plans for Laos.
We were beginning our transit from Chiang Mai in Thailand’s far north, through Laotian border control, ending in Luang Prabang, Laos. A well-known pilgrimage for the adventurous (or budget-conscious) backpacker who wants to do the border crossing the scenic way. We chose the three day slow boat, the cheapest, and, my god, the slowest way to do this crossing.