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Laos Photos: Chiang Khong - Houixai - Pakbeng - Luang Prabang by boat on Mekong river: 25 - 28 Dec 2005
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Upstream tourist boat with saved tourists from a capsized boat   A local people helping search for drown tourists
26 Dec 2006, at 3:15 p.m. a small boat with three Lao crew and 6 German tourists capsized while passing a white water (rock formation with strong current) section of the Mekong about 1.5 hours before Pakbeng. All people and their luggages onboard were thrown into the cold water. One elderly tourist was drown, and the rest were saved by villagers from the nearby villages. Left: an upstream passenger boat which was helping the survived tourists waved us to stop. Right: a local woman in her small boat looking to retrieve floating luggages.

We arrived at the scene at about 4 p.m. Our boat took three lady tourists with us to Pakbeng. Other two gentle men were carried by another boat. Three Lao crew including the tour guide stayed there till they found the body of the drown one and the luggages. They came to Pakbeng at about mid-night.

Villa Sarika guesthouse bed room   Villa Sarika guesthouse in Ban Pakbeng
Villa Sarika guesthouse in Ban Pakbeng. The guest rooms are provided electricity, private bathroom with western style toilet, fan, bedding with winter blankets, table and mirror, window. Hot water is provided in vacuum flask or thermos. The hotel has a restaurant.

Mekong river at Pakbeng in the early morning
Early morning view of Mekong at Ban Pakbeng - small town in the middle of the route between Houixai (Huay Xai) and Luang Prabang. From here people can take the road to Udomxai (Udom Xai). There are many shops on the town's single road selling imported things from Thailand and China such as drinks and bottled water, cookies, coffee and tea packs, other food stuff, clothes, torch lights, batteries, and so on. Several guesthouses and mid-range accommodations as well as restaurants serving both western and asian meals are available.

On a normal day two upstream boats and two downstream boats would stop over at this small town. In addition to these, there are several tour boats used by small group package tours.

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