Day One on the Mekong
Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
50Trip End Nov 29, 2011
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Early morning call and a transfer to the Thai/Laos border past rolling hills covered with rice fields- very beautiful. At the border were put on a very narrow boat which was very low in the water and went across the Mekong to the Laos side where we board a much more salubrious boat for our cruise down the Mekong. Sat drinking coffee and eating dragon fruit (which look very strange but taste very nice) whilst we watched life on the river. The side of the river were dense jungle with the occasional clearing for a small village - the men would be fishing, the little boys playing football and I assume the little girls were at home helping mum look after the babies and cook the meals!
There were boats on the river which looked as if someone had taken a small two storey house and stuck it on the end of a barge - they seemed to be carrying lumber up and down the river and the whole family went along
Stopped at a Hmong tribe village to look around but we both felt very uncomfortable about this - it felt very voyeuristic and even though the tour guide said that they gave the village money for the local school I’m still not sure if it’s a good thing to do or not - a lot of the little children kept coming up to us and asking for “my dollar” and rubbing their thumb and fore-fingers together - very sad.
Arrive at Pak Beng for our overnight stay - little bamboo bungalows along the river bank with mosquito nets over the beds and lovely views from the windows.