Huay Xai to Luang Prabang via Pak Beng
27.11.2008 25 °C
We reluctantly left Thailand on November 26th, (not a moment too soon considering the political events), and arrived in laid back Laos by way of the mighty Mekong River.
Despite the travel guides' warnings some foolhardy tourists ride the white-knuckle speed boats - little better than sharp nosed bathtubs with 80 hp. outboards. We, on the sensible side, took the 2 day, 14 hr., slow boat to Luang Prabang from Huay Xai.
It was a National Geographic experience: isolated villages of thatched bamboo huts untouched by modern civilization; elephant cranes loading log barges; herds of water buffalo, goats and wild pigs on the sandy shores.
The Mekong flows like liquid milk chocolate through a continuous ravine of jungle covered mountains. Rapids, whirlpools and rocky islets keep the captain busy while the falangs digitize every new vista.
Young and old from across Europe, Australia and Nth. America trade travel tales; new friends are made; food and drink (not to mention booze and drugs), are shared.
Our time on the Mekong is a highlight we will always remember, (and NO, we didn't share the pot).
Now in Luang Prabang - a French Colonial jewel in the heart of the Laotian jungle.