Crossing the Laos / Thai border at Huay Xai and Chiang Khong was interesting. You go in slightly blind – pay someone 85,000 Kip, just over £7 and you are not really sure what will happen next.
Anyway, it ran like clockwork. You are picked up in a tuk-tuk from your hotel. You pick up a few more friends on the way, until no one else could fit in! You are then driven to the border point where you have to officially exit Laos. The tuk-tuk driver then miraculously appears on the other side and gives you a sticker for your shirt, tells you to get on a bus and bids you farewell.
The bus takes you over the friendship bridge where you have to clear Thai immigration. You exit and a man is wandered around checking your stickers and points you to a minivan. Voila, it worked seamlessly without you having a clue what is going on.
A lovely 2-hour drive to Chiang Rai through the countryside. You are dropped at one of the town bus stations, then into barter mode for a tuk-tuk to your accommodation. Just be careful on entry, they don’t hang around for you to be seated…