The Mighty Mekong

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
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Trip End May 30, 2013


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, December 17, 2012

What a pleasant way to travel!  A relaxing 2 day trip along the Mekong river.  After days of mountainous bus rides being tossed from side to side while sitting in stale air, I was reading for something slow and flat!

So nice to be able to wander about, ready, cat, and have a coffee all while watching beautiful mountain scenery and jungles pass you by.  Unlike the speed boat option (one day vs. 2) which had people strapped into life vests and helmets while skittering across the very top of the water, unable to move, and knocking on death's door. 

I don't think this is an easy river to navigate, speed boat or not.  Being the dry season, the water is way down.  We can see the markings on the shore where the water has risen to - maybe 5 or 6 meters and there are rocks everywhere!  Rising out of the water like mini-karsks with markers on the top for when the water is high.  And with the water being low, there's lots of rapids to go around.  But the captain's there to worry about that.  I can just relax and watch the morning mist slowly rise off the tree tops and the vines wave in the wind.  It seems like there is nothing out there.  No birds or wildlife...but eventually I'll see a river bank planted with lettuces, and a boat or two.  Then the wild jungle cow may make it's appearance while someone washes in the river.  We are as interesting to them as they are to us and I'm sure if they had cameras they'd be pointed our way. 

Day two the mountains grew while the river widened.  Slowly more and more modernization was seen:  bigger houses and more roads.  The river wound in a way that it was now the sole division between Thailand and Laos.  As we neared the border crossing we noticed all the difference between Thailand and Laos.  Different styles of tuk-tuk and fancy things like street lights and water towers!  Tomorrow we will make our way back into Thailand with our first border crossing by boat through no-mans land!
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