Floating down the great Mekong River
02.04.2008 -17 °C
After leaving Chiang Mai, Nathaniel and I boarded a boat for a two day journey down the Mekong River to Luang Pra Bang, Loas. Our boat was filled with over a hundred packpackers and we passed the time by playing cards, eating food, sleeping and observing life along the river. By the time we reached our destination we had developed a lot of new friends.
Finally we have reached our destination! Now for the steep climb up the mountain to find someplace to sleep.
The river banks were dotted with tiny Loacian communities that consisted of houses built on stilts amoungst the jungle. Children splashed in the river as whole families bathed alongside their waterbuffalos.
Whenever our boat stopped to drop off passengers or deliver goods, little would girls run down from their villages to sell us silk scarves.
Lang Pra bang is a unique community and is a UNESCO world hertiage site
I can't get over how idylic it is. Charming streets lined with old french provicial homes, streams of monks carrying umbrellas, and girls riding home on their bicyles from school in their traditional Loas skirts. Everywhere you look there are vendors selling the most delicious sandwhiches made with homemade french bread, and tables are laden with banana bread and mango cakes.
The markets are full of homemade textiles and paper lanterns and umbrellas. The Loas and Mung people are incredible friendly dispite the fact that most of them are dirt poor and live in homes that would be blown over by a strong gust of wind.
We are in Vand Vien right now and we are planning to float lazily down the river in inner tubs tommorow. The drive here was absolutely stunning. Check out the view from the window of our bus.