Jessica and I separated in Chiang Mai. She headed south for the islands, and I headed north for the border town of Chiang Khong. I caught a slow boat on the Mekong river from there into Laos, a 2-day trip, sort of as a research expedition for a future trip. So far, the expedition has been a success! The boat ride was just beautiful, with lush green scenery everywhere, and a soothing pleasure cruise on a large passenger boat.
The boat stopped off on the first night in a tiny village with a lovely view:
I met a nice group of travelers, which composed about 80-90% of the passengers, and I've been hanging out with them over the last new days. Now in Luang Phabang, I'll explore the city, stay for a few days, then make a bee-line to Bangkok to meet a friend who's flying in for his own vacation.
Everything is good. Everything is great.