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Mekong River Journey

Downriver to Luang Prabang

After Chiang Khong, we headed over to Huay Xai, Laos ready to get on the river. Right before we got on our boat we saw monks walking up steps to the Wat in Huay Xai.

A chilly but beautiful morning on the river; on our way to Luang Prabang, Laos.

The roads in this region are limited and generally in very poor condition, so the river is a major transport route. This is one of the boats crossing the river, carrying people up and down.

Jeff Opperman's daughter, Wren, is recording much of the trip in her notebook. Here she is drawing a tree she found particularly beautiful from along the shore.

The captains or drivers of the boats along the Mekong usually push off with poles until the boat is in deeper water and into the current.

We stopped at a small village along the way (Hmong people, a 'hill tribe' group) and saw these fish drying – the fish gets dehydrated (like fish jerky) and can last a long time that way.

Our boat captain cut these green bamboo poles and then he and our guide, Peng, showed Luca how to tie a line with a hook and bait with maggots. We then stuck them in the mud along the river overnight.

Sunset on our first night on the Mekong River.

We stayed one night in the village of Ban Bo at the house of the village "headman" or nai ban – the four of us in a small room with three generations of his family all on sleeping pads on the ground under mosquito nets. During dinner everyone sat on the floor, with our legs tucked under, as a sign of respect.

Our first swim in the Mekong with our boat behind. The captain and his wife live on the boat so they have a small room with a TV and thus, the satellite dish.
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