Slow boat from China

Trip Start Aug 01, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2011

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Laos is so different - laid back with the villages made of woven leaves and the roads are back to unmade surfaces. A bit of a shock after the tidiness and and efficency of China.  It is getting as we travel south - time to top up the sun tan. The villages are strung along the roadside there is no other flat land in northern Laos. The villages are full of children, chickens and pot bellied pigs.

At lunch time we catch a slow boat down the river to Luang Prabang, it is a 5 hour ride through a beautiful rural countryside. The boat is long and slim with the engine at the back the pilot at the front and the passengers sat on very low benches in between. Not the most comfortable way to travel but the experience was amazing. The banks are lined with towering cliffs and small communities thrive on the river.  Very picturesque children jumping in and out of the water, fishermen either standing waist deep in the water or balanced in narrow boats casting nets. There were families panning by hand along the banks what they were looking for I do not know. The more enterprising had set up bamboo platforms with generators to shiv the river bed.

The river was calm for the most part with just a few patches of white water to negotiate . The journey ended at dusk giving us a beautifu sunset as we arrived at Luang Prabang.

It is a lovely town with temples on every corner but I am suffering from cultural overload so just a gentle walk around the river front and along slow lunch and a poke around the shops. There is a great night market with local handicrafts for sale but I did spot some scarves I bought in Turkey on sale here - I expect they are made in China anyway!!
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