We have quit our jobs and sold our house. Here you can follow us on our travels.
Oops, we did it again!
The mother of waters gets to you! After our first cruise in February we were hooked. We have now done our second Mekong cruise, and we have booked our third!
This time we flew from Vientiane north to Huay Xai and took a two day trip downstream to Luang Prabang, the beautiful center of Northern Laos.
The boat we were on was smaller than the Vatphu that we went on earlier. The 42 meter long and 4 meters wide vessel has seating for 30 people, but no cabins. The night is spent at a hotel in Pakbeng, a small town half way thru the 330 kilometers long journey.
We let the pictures tell the tale. We were treated to a smooth river and a clean and inviting boat where we had all the space we could want. We paid 150 dollars per head, and for that they did the trip with only the three of us. The Daughter was with us for this one, she has now finished her work contract in Vientiane and will travel with us for a few weeks. The boat came with a crew of four, three to handle the vessel plus our guide.
We did a few excursions ashore on the way, but most of the time it was all about relaxing in our chairs and watching the world glide by.
The river is not as wide as further down, and it was dented with sharp rocks that made the skippers job tricky at times. But we were in no hurry, and the man at the wheel made all the turns he was supposed to make.
The crew consisted of our captain and two female assistants, doubling as cooks and able seawomen. Their first job was to guide our vessel out from its narrow berth in between all the other anchored boats.
Life on board. One of our boatladies gets a massage in return for an extra cup of green tea.
Traveling the Mekong can be cool, specially in the early morning.
There was no smoking on board – but according to the skipper smoking was allowed as long as he kept his cigarette on the outside of the railings!
A cargo ship on its way upriver.
At Pakbeng we spent a night with this glorious view from our hotel room terrace. Of the 11 boats with their noses on the rocks, ours is no. two from the right. By nightfall there were 19 boats here all together.
Leaving Pakbeng. Our terrace is to the far left of the row of buildings on the hilltop
Again, there is a lot of pushing involved to keep the boats from getting hooked into one another upon leaving.
Making a stop at a riverside village. The kids are always curious when a boatload of falangs arrive.
The dry branches will be turned into brooms and sold. One of the hard jobs is to beat them on the sand and get all the seeds out.
The Pak Ou Buddha Caves, not long before arriving at our destination of Luang Prabang.
Filling the caves with Buddhas is an everlasting process. This one is said to contain 4000 statues – so far!