“The slowboat” is a name I’d heard but couldn’t quite imagine, until we crossed the Thailand/Laos border and boarded a boat like I’d never seen before! Long, colourful, wooden and fitted with old car seats, Laos slowboats sail down the Meekong at a gentle pace, carrying travellers and locals alike. The Meekong itself was also a mere word to me before I set foot on that vessel. Two days cruising at our ease proved an exceptionally enjoyable and tranquil experience. We made a fair few friends and ended up with a grand wee party boat. Pak Beng was our unique overnight stop in between the two days. The party continued in Luang Prabang as we managed to find a guesthouse that could accommodate all 16 of the “slowboat crew”.