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Mekong river boat journey: Houixai, Pakbeng to Luang Prabang: 09 - 14 Feb 2007
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A rustic village hut
A rustic village hut.
The house owner works in the farms during the seasons, and goes for fishing betwen the farm works. Before the next rainy season he needs to fix the house and he is not yet at home at the moment. Probably the man is going for a fishing directly from the farm.

Cooking dinner, Ban Hti Hon
Lao home lady cooking dinner.
In Ban Hti Hon village, I stayed at the home of three people family: the couple and their child. The child was having cold and the grand mother was visiting to attend the baby. The village has communal showers with water storage tanks, and stand-alone toilets. It is just a sand beach away from the Mekong river. We had a candle lit dinner followed by a lively conversation until it was time to go inside the mosquito nets.

One brother and one sister of the wife was gone to work in Thailand, and she had not heard from them since they left 2 years ago. They did not know what kind of job they were doing and where. They talked about simple yet monotonous farm life. However, they said, travelling to other villages and to Luang Prabang was getting easier and more effordable for the ordinary villagers now because of public boat transport running quite regularly. Villagers are visiting the towns when they have free time and of course some extra money.

The temple in Ban Hti Hon
The village temple and monastery.

Fishermen boats, Ban Hti Hon
Fisherman on Mekong river.
Next morning I walked to the beach to meet the fishermen. After the early morning sticky rice breakfast at home the fishermen start their morning search for fish. Usually they come back before noon for lunch. They may also go for late evening or night time fishing.

Ten to fifteen years ago, said one man, they could get as much as 30 Kg of fish from a single solo trip. They sold to other villagers as well as to other villages. Nowadays 7 Kg is considered a good catch.

Firewood to sell to other village, Ban Hti Hon
Firewood to send to other village.
Fish and fire wood are sold to other nearby villages where villagers are more and more involved in tourism products and services. For example in Ban Xang Hai, a tourist boat stop before Luang Prabang, villagers produce and sell rice whiskey and handicrafts. These villagers buy fish and fire wood from other villages like Ban Hti Hon. While the sun was rising over the hills on the other side of the river I walked back home for breakfast.

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