Over the last few days we had looked forward to the slow boat down the Mekong, but it was a bit of a mixed blessing, as the seating was hard wooden seats and fairly cramped, the first day was 6 hours on the boat and the second was over 8 hours. We loved the first day the scenery was amazing and the river full of variety. At times the river was wide and calm but, as it narrowed through rocky passages there were lots of rapids with big whirl pools that moved the boat about. There were huge rocks throughout the river, so the captain was busy all the time choosing a course. It made it a bit exciting a times as the boat was heavily loaded with people and cargo (including chickens, turkeys, a motor bike and bags of produce). The boat stopped at river side villages to transport local people and produce. at a couple of villages we even saw elephants off loading large logs from barges! The 2nd (longer) day was a bit tiresome as the boat was much narrower with the same number of people on board.
We are now in Laos in a town called Luang Prabang it is a lovely town very French colonial. From our guest house we have a full view of the Mekong river. The town is enclosed on three sides by the Mekong and another river. It is relatively quite during the day but really comes alive at night with dining and markets.
We will stay here for 4 nights. After a good rest we should be ready to face another long travel day (8 hours), which will be to Vientanne
love Glenda and Al