Day 111 – 1.11.2015
Lao – Mekong 2nd day
Today we did the second part of the Mekong journey from Pak Beng to Huay Xai. Not much changed in the scenery: yellow murky water, sandy beaches, sharp rocks in the water, every so often some fishing rods, a few villages and a few water buffaloes. For the first time we saw a car ferry. Just above it a brand new huge bridge was being build.
We were wondering if all those rocks and sand beaches are usually covered by water during the rain season. There is no way to know. But if then the water would have to rise 1-2 meters during that time.
I like the Mekong. It has such a nice feeling about itself. I would have expected many more villages, but there weren’t. All you can see for miles and miles is jungle. There are green mountain tops and otherwise nothing. And then sometimes it is calm and peaceful and then at other times there are many vortex making it difficult to maneuver through.
The girls are reading, playing Sudoku or making mini moves to pass the time. Stéphane is not having such a great day. He woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat and started to have a runny nose now. Headache on top and to have the perfect recipe for having had the air condition on too cold leaving him with a summer flu. Well he didn’t have to come all the way to Lao for that. 🙂
The last part of the journey was again interestingly different. On our right hand side Lao and on our left hand side Thailand. There was a clear difference. On the left we saw lorries, tall buildings and works to protect the shore of the river. On the right hand side there was non of the above. And then when you get into Huay Xai you see a huge bridge which is the border crossing between both countries. Impressive.
Arriving in Huay Xai after 5:30pm, the first thing to do was to get into the center and find a guesthouse. We shared a tuk tuk with some other travelers and arrived just when it got dark which made finding the guesthouse of my choice not easy. And when we finally found it, they told us it was full. Oh, no… but after Lara’s intervention, who had also just arrived from the Netherlands they actually found us a nice bungalow. However… we were back to Indian showers we had had in 2011 when the girls and I did some volunteering there. Only that here there is NO warm water at all. So there is some cold water in a bucket and a plastic bowl and then some very loud screaming kids.
The Daauw homestay is a project of a Dutch woman called Lara. She started it and it is all about empowering women. They also take volunteers so if you feel like coming to Lao and helping women to live a better life – this would be the place.
When you have an accident in Lao killing somebody, you are going to prison straight away and you will remain there until your family has the money to pay the family of the killed compensation. If your family is poor, well you will remain in prison.