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Laos Khammouane province photos: Thakhet - Na Hin - Na Phouak - Konglor caves: 06 - 13 Oct 2006
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A passenger-cargo boat and car carrier boat on Thakhet bank of Mekong river. Compared to Nakhon Phanom, Thakhet is quite small. Thai Baht money is accepted everywhere. Only few Internet cafes existed. I remember using a computer in a small print and photocopy shop to connect Internet to check emails in one evening. The connection was quite slow but just checking emails seemed to be fine.
Sunset view over Nakhon Phanom town shot from Thakhet side of the river. At the dinner tables of the hotel restaurant we saw foreign people working for government or joint government and united nation projects, their sports cars being parked at the hotel front with Lao drivers standing beside. In the air there were lot of talking about corruption, red tape, and cross cultural problems.
In the morning walk the streets in town and one can not miss a small road side stall selling French breads. You can ask to toast the bread and add meat and vegetable inside. It costs much cheaper than in a hotel restaurant.
On the way from Thakhet to Veng Kham we saw places under flood water. Here children taking shelter from the rain and flood at a road side rest hut (Sala) with their bicycle in the waters. Veng Kham is a small town at the intersection of road no 13 and 8. Highway road no. 13 is a long snaking road connecting Lao-China border in the north and Lao-cambodia border in the south. From the north it begins at Botan (Lao border town between Luang Namtha province and Yunnan province of China), and passes Udomxai, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane (the capital), Pakxan, Thakhet, Savanakhet, Pakse, and ends at Cambodia border.
At Veng Kham road no. 8 runs to the east passing Na Hin, Lak Xao and ends at Nam Phao - Lao border town with Vietnam.
Mountains, cliffs and hills after hills; rivers after rivers, waterfalls after waterfalls, caves after caves are the landscape of this province which is dotted with villages whose people grow paddy and other crops; raise pigs, buffalos, cows, goats, chicken and duck and so on. The rivers and streams flow above and under the ground.
The market at Na Hin. Some of these trucks transporting people and cargo run between Vietnam border and Veng Kham, the others between Veng Kham and Na Phouak - the boat landing place on Hin Boun river about 15 km to the south of Na Hin. The small market sells products from Laos, Vietnam, China, Thailand and yes I saw rubber slippers from Myanmar too. Few Chinese and Vietnamese shop keepers were seen selling among the Local Lao traders.
To arrange your travel in Laos, Thailand, etc. check this site: www.trekthailand.net
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