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Mekong river boat to Luang Prabang; Udomxai, Luang Namtha, Muang Sing, Xieng Kok, Houixai during Mekong flood (06 - 14 August 2008)

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Mekong fishermen under the rain
Mekong river fisherman under the rain

Under the heavy downpour the fisherman took cover under bamboo hat and improvised plastic rain coat. He cann't go home now because he needed fish which was getting harder to find. Many people had to do multiple jobs such as farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, fisherman, gold panner, and general worker for whatever job was available.

Ban Ngoy Hai near Kamu lodge
A storage hut in Ban Ngoy Hai (Kamu people)

At 3:15 pm we arrived at Kamu Lodge near Ban Ngoy Hai on the left bank of the Mekong. As in other village rice farming is the main work and major part of their food security. In addition there are coconut, corn, vegetable patches, banana, chicken and ducks. They also do fishing.

Small museum hut displaying Kamu handicrafts
Small museum hut displaying Kamu handicrafts: containers, basketry, farming & hunting tools, knifves, etc.

A kamu house
A Kamu house

In all these villages the people were not working less than us. They seemed like working much harder than average people in our world. Yet their ways of living was very simple, minimalist, or what we could say - they were really using only minimum resources from the planet. We could compare this one family house on the Mekong river bank with an average house in a civilised country. There is a mountain of differences.

A view from the Mekong boat in the evening
A view from the Mekong boat in the late evening

I spent the night in the boat with the boatman family. Because of rain, wind and mists it got darker fast. In the evening the waters and surrounding hills of Mekong looked surreal, somewhat bluish and flowy in the current of millions of small particles. A wooden boat used for fishing demonstration was floating in the direction of reciprocating waves. Were they signs for something to happen in the next days? I did not know that on that day, but two days later the lower area of kamu lodge was flooded!

A Lao dinner on the Mekong boat
A candle lit Lao dinner on the boat

At that evening dinner we had sticky rice, rice noodle soup, pork and some vegetable. Fish was not available - probably another sign of coming flood.

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