We were crammed in like sardines and all wishing wistfully for the comfort, quiet and fresh air of the longboat!
Our surroundings were lovely of course. Mother of Waters flowed peacefully here, carrying her load of silt towards the rich paddy fields of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
We called in at a Khmer village to learn about this minority group who practice slash and burn agriculture. Houses are built on stilts.
Water buffalo provide power! Perhaps by now they also have solar energy?
Much later we made it to our lunch stop …
This lunch stop at Ban Lathan was reached about four hours late, due to the slow progress we made on the hot stinky boat. Never mind, they simply opened the big can of Maggi Chicken stock and whipped up a noodle soup in a few minutes. We were rather shocked! Shortly before reaching Luang Prabang we came to Pak Ou (mouth of the Ou river) caves, a welcome stop to escape from the boat.
This is a revered holy site, and very popular with visitors, being only 25km north of Luang Prabang. Hundreds of small Buddha statues are arranged in the two caves, lining every rocky ledge. Here is the main altar. For the curious, you might like to check out some other images that show the hundreds of statues, like this one
We were soon in Luang Prabang for two peaceful days …. where our story will resume soon!