I fell in love with Laos and definitely ended up staying longer than planned (3 nights longer, to be exact). I had a great time exploring with Dana, and then Simon ended up flying to Luang Prabang to spend time with me while Alex and Cecile took the slow boat. Luang Prabang itself is a very small city, and while there were definitely a lot of backpackers, it’s not yet as overrun with tourism as the places I visited in Thailand. The culture is still very much traditional and beautiful nature surrounding the city is relatively untouched.
All the friends I made in Chiang Mai left for Pai on the same day. I planned to stay in Chiang Mai and wait for my debit card, but after one day without them I decided I missed them and woke up the next morning at 9am, found somewhere to book a bus to Pai, and was on my way by 10:30am. The plan was to stay for two nights, then take a bus back to Chiang Mai to get my debit card before heading to Laos.