The next part of our trip in South East Asia, was two days on the Mekong River, with an overnight stay in Pak Beng, and ending in Luang Prabang, Laos. We booked this part of the trip with Nagi of the Mekong and they looked after us very well. They met us at the border in Chiang Kong, Thailand and helped us with the Visa and immigration process on both the Thai side and the Lao side in Houi Xai. Once all Visas were in place for our group we were ready to set sail. We travelled in a 36 meter traditional Lao long boat similar to the one above. The boat can take up to 35 passengers or so, which may get fully booked at busier times, but on our trip we had 10 of us which gave us a lot of room to move about. Snacks, drinks and lunches were provided on the boat. We also had a local guide for this portion which was very helpful.
Now if you want to take a river trip, but get to Luang Prabang in one day you can take the fast boat as seen below. That was not our style and we were not too envious of those doing so!
We saw these men crossing the river, which looks dangerously close to tipping over. Very tricky with someone standing up and moving at the same time!
Another boat transporting a full cargo load up the river.
The boat stopped briefly for our guide to get us a local treat to try. This is sweet, slightly sticky rice that is cooked inside of a bamboo shoot. We liked it and had it as a snack a couple of times later in the trip.
Our first stop was at a native Laos village.
It was a pretty steep climb up the sandy bank. Here we stopped to hear a little about the village with our guide.
The children were waiting for us and happy to pose for some pictures.
While the adults went about their work.
The children came down to the river as we left to watch us depart.
After 80 nautical miles on day one we are at our destination for the night at Pak Beng. You can see our boat wasn’t the only one taking the trip.
The sun setting on the river. To be continued….