From Chiang Khong in Thailand, I took a 2-minute boat ride over the Mekong to the Laos border. Then I took a minivan to Luang Nam Tha, which is a one-road town that has the best Laos coffee ever (coffee to condensed milk ratio was perfect). Then I took a chicken bus (there was a live chicken in a bag on the top of the ’82 Toyota van) for the bumpiest, most harrowing ride I’ve ever been on. The driver stopped in random towns the whole way to cram more people in. 14 people + a baby + a chicken should never be stuffed into a van meant to hold 8.