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Udon Thani & Nakhon Phanom in north-eastern Thailand; across Mekong river to Laos, Hin Boun river, Konglor cave, Heup cave, Lao Luang villages, Savannakhet, Pakse, Tad Fane waterfalls and re-enter Thailand at Ubon Ratchathani: 05 - 13 Nov 2007

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Threshing paddy in Ban Tiou
Threshing paddy in Ban Tiou, Hinboun river (*)

From planting paddy to ready-to-eat hot rice on the dinner plate, every step in the process is done by hand. Here family members: the mother and children were working together. They were threshing harvested paddy to obtain paddy grains. The grain will then be kept in the storage hut and they would take out some amount time by time to pound them using mortar and pestle into rice (without husk) to cook in the pot.

Huay Sai stream with crystal clear water
Huay Sai stream with crystal clear waters

Opposite Ban Tiou is Huay Sai stream that flows into Hinboun rievr. The water in Huay Sai stream is very clear and clean. Sala Konglor uses the water from the stream to make drinking water.

A boat on Huay stream
A boat on Huay Sai stream (*)

Tourists use a small boat to explore Huay Sai stream. On that side of Hinboun river there are caves and cliffs, beautiful sand stone formations, some farms; and if you have time there are opportunities to explore a large area of forest probably teaming with sizable number of small and large wildlife.

The meeting of flat land of the valley and the vertivcal cliff
End of the valley and vertical limestone mountain

The valley land and the limestone hills meet at the vertical wall of the cliff. However there are few places where energetic trekker/climber could walk up to the higher points in the mountains. For example the mountain through which Konglor cave runs can be climbed over.

Nam Non cave and underground stream, Hinboun valley
Nam Non cave and underground stream (*)

Back in Sala Hinboun (Ban Pone Nyein village) we took an evening for a walk to another village and the cave with underground river at the cliff side. There are several caves at the foot of the cliff where stream(s) flow in and out. Looking up we also saw more caves in the higher slopes, which may be homes to some kinds of animals.

Lao village children on a country road
Lao village children on a country road (*)

To arrange your travel in Laos, Thailand, etc. check this site: www.trekthailand.net

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