One of the funniest stories I heard in Laos was of a friend of a friend’s honeymoon trip to South East Asian.

The trip began with an arrival in Bangkok. A five star hotel was booked for the first night of the honeymoon. When the newlyweds got there they were told there was no record of their booking and as the hotel was fully booked they would have to stay somewhere else. While walking around the streets of Bangkok the bride was mauled by mosquitos. The next day, in paranoia over the prospects of contracting malaria from all those mosquito bites, the couple spent most of the day in the hospital waiting to see a doctor. They were told they were being stupid as you have to wait until you actually have symptoms of malaria being seeking medical care. It’d be like going to the doctor for a cold without any symptoms because you sat next to someone on the train who was coughing a lot.

Their trip in Laos began in Hoeuy Xai, where they caught a boat down to Luang Prabang. This two day boat trip is incredibly uncomfortable from what I’ve been told. The boats are crowded and you end up spending two days sitting on a wooden bench. The couple saw a swollen dead body floating down the Mekong, a real mood killer for a romantic getaway.

There’s a speed boat trip option from Hoeuy Xai to Luang Prabang. Passengers are required to wear a motorcycle helmet (which in Laos is a glorified ice-cream container). I’d recommend staying away from then for safety reasons.

Once at Luang Prabang the couple decided to try a traditional sauna massage. After the massage the spa package left the couple to enjoy a seaweed soak. This really meant being left to wallow in a cold, algae filled bathtub. They started to feel sick and the bride ended up throwing up inside her bath.