Slow Boat down the Mekong

Trip Start Nov 10, 2007
Trip End Nov 15, 2009

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, February 3, 2008

This adventure was one of the highlights of my trip!  We took a small shuttle boat over to the Lao side of the Mekong and got our passports stamped, etc.  From there we took a truck to where our boat was awaiting us.  It was a long narrow boat, maybe 75' long by 10' wide, with a huge motor towards the back.  There were rows of wooden bench seats with thin cushions on them lining both sides of the boat.  Glad I took the guidebook's advice to buy a cushion!  I had two 8 hour days ahead of me so a little extra padding would be welcome.

We pushed off at about noon and were soon lazily motoring past bamboo hut villages and lush jungle.  The river banks were planted in crops and I also saw an elephant helping villagers move lumber.  There were other boats on the river: local short distance boats as well as the fast boat.

We also stopped along the way to pick up and drop off passengers.  At one village we unloaded a bunch of boxes of food and other supplies.  I wondered how often these supplies would be replenished.

In the evening we stopped at Pak Ben and I found a basic hotel room.  The electricity here is from a generator and I fantasized about a hydro plant instead!  It was so sweet when all the lights went out at 10 pm and it was wonderfully quiet.  I slept great!

The next morning we boarded the boat once again and had another lazy day on the river.  I felt so lucky to be there!  It felt adventurous and remote and was incredibly beautiful.  
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