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Mekong river boat journey: Houixai, Pakbeng to Luang Prabang: 09 - 14 Feb 2007
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Ban Mong Keo, Mekong river
Fishing boats at Ban Mong Keo. Just before 4 p.m. we arrived at Ban Mong Keo (Lao people village) on the river bank not very far from Pa Ou (Tham Ting) caves. The place is at the U-turn curve of Mekong river. The river turns south-east and then turn again south-west and flows pass Luang Prabang town. Ban Mong Keo is located on the first turn.

Ban Mong Keo, Mekong river
Clothes and cloths on show for sale at Ban Mong Keo. This relatively more developed village has limited electricity supply, but there is no car road yet. As in other villages the villagers here have rice, corn, and vegetable produced in their farms; cows, buffalos, goats, chicken and pigs running around; and they do weaving and fishing.

Leaving Ban Mong Keo on foot to other village
I left the boat at this village to take a walk to Luang Prabang. I planned to sleep in a village. There are at least two routes from here to Xieng Maen on the opposite bank of Luang Prabang. One that needs more time is passing over Phu Luang mountains. Phou Luang has northern peak and southern peak. The second route takes you along the Mekong and then over the mountain slope of Phu Luang but not passing the peaks. I took the second trail.

A lady tending her goats
A Lao lady tending her goats.
About half hour walk in the dry semi evergreen forest took us to the intersection with the trail to Pak Ou (Tham Ting) caves. Since it was already 4:30 p.m. we did not walk to the caves (it is though just few hundred meters to the upper caves), and we went on to another village. When we hit the river again we were met with the nice very beautiful panorama view of wide sand beach, the river, the huts from a village on the opposite bank, and cliffs over the Nam Ou river in the distance. A village woman was tending her goats on the river bank, probably on the way to their village somewhere.

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