We started the trip by driving up to the border with Laos. We left our car on the Thai side, made our way through Immigration and across the Mekong River to the airport in Vientiane. From there we flew to Luang Prabang, spent a couple of days, and then did the three day, two night cruise.
Click on any photo for a slide show. In the slide show, click on the large photo to move on to the next.
The map shows the cruise route on the Mekong River
This is the bus that takes passengers back and forth across the Friendship Bridge between Thailand and Laos.
View of the Mekong River from Luang Prabang
From our balcony at the Alounsavath Guesthouse
Wat (temple) decorated for the end of Buddhist Lent.
Breakfast on the Mekong at the Alounsavath Guesthouse
Luang Prabang has a great collection of French Provincial and traditional Lao architecture.
Wat Xieng Thong (or Temple of the Golden City) dates from the 16th century.
Wat Xieng Thong
Fortune sticks at Wat Xieng Thong
The confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers, Luang Prabang.
We stayed at the Alounsavath Guest House, right on the river.
Exploring on a rainy day.
Gin and Tonic
Women carry produce below our balcony
We took this lovely boat to the Kamu Lodge
Only four passengers
Thousands of Buddha images inside of Pak Ou cave, an ancient sanctuary.
View of the Mekong River from Pak Ou cave.
The Mekong is full and muddy this time of year.
This short YouTube video is made up of clips taken all along the Mekong cruise.
YouTube Link Here: Along the Mekong - October 2013
Buffalo on the riverbank.
Arrival at Kamu Lodge
We spent the first night at Kamu Lodge, an eco-lodge with it's dining room in the middle of rice fields. The lodge itself is located next to a Khmu village. The Khmu are the largest ethnic group in northern Laos.
The guest rooms at Kamu Lodge are large tents.
The Khmu village is in the distance.
Off to visit the Khmu village.
Khmu house with woven bamboo walls.
Very fat, but very tiny piglet.
Khmu basket weaver. We bought one of the round rice baskets.
Planting rice at Kamu Lodge.
Learning to shoot a crossbow.
Mam hit the bullseye!
Evening on the Mekong.
Mike tries to catch some fish. No luck.
The farmer and buffalo are leveling this field for later planting. In the background farmers are planting rice seedlings.
The next two cruise days were on this, the Luang Say boat.
Mural at a wat at Bon Bo village.
The Ban Bo villagers weave fabric out of silk and cotton for sale to tourists.
Villagers return from foraging in the forest.
Onward up the Mekong.
There are many villages along the river. Some look quite modern and have electricity and mobile phone service.
We spent the second night at Luang Say Lodge.
Dusk on the Mekong at Luang Say Lodge.
Outdoor dining at Luang Say Lodge.
Last day on the river.
Morning mist on the Mekong.
One of many isolated and primitive villages.
The long line of children were unloading sweet potatoes from this boat.
Rice barn at Ban Huay Palam.
This village has electricity and satellite TV.
This ridge is the border between Laos and Thailand. Laos on the left, Thailand on the right. From this point up rive, the river defines the border.
New bridge between Laos (on the left) and Thailand. Scheduled to open in December of 2013. This is the fourth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge.
Daughters of the owners of Bar How in Huay Xai. We had a great gin and tonic here and a good meal.
Dinner at Bar How.
We spent the night at a rather interesting guesthouse called Daauw Home. We awoke to a misty, damp morning.
Steps leading up to Wat Jom Khao Manalat in Huay Xai. That's Thailand across the river.
Wat Jom Khao Manalat
Huay Xai Airport. One flight per day.
Handwritten boarding pass. It's been a while….