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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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Road to Houixai, Bokeo province, northern Laos
Road to Houixai, Bokeo province, northern Laos

After a wait we had got a 4x4 truck taking us free of chatrge, again, as far as possible. The truck was also heading for Houixai and the driver did not know how far he could go. In many places the road was just few meters from Mekong waters. And finally..

Another flood on the highway to Houixai
Another flood on the road to Houixai

We arrived at another deeper flood waters. Our 4 by 4 also could not afford to pass so we jumped onto a bamboo raft to come to the other side. We were not very far from Houixai now, probably only 50 to 60 km away. We were now three, and the fellow passenger who came along with me from Xieng Kok called his home to send a car. So we waited.

When I arrived at Houixai immigration post it was still open. So I said thanks and good bye to the travel mates, got off from the truck, and walked directly to the immigration. The immigration office was now in the middle of the concrete road to the boat landing, just a table and few chairs under a plastic sheet as the roof. They had lost their office to the flood!

Laos immigration check point in Houixai under water
Lao immigration post in Houixai under the Mekong flood

On the Thai side, the same thing happened. The ground floor of the immigration and custom office building was in the waters. The ferry boats were parking the same level as the first floor office.

Thailand immigration check point in Chiang Khong under water
Thai immigration post in Chiang Khong under the Mekong flood

Fishing on the road from Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai
Fishing on the road: Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai

As there was no more bus to Chiang Rai I went back to Nam Khong Riverside hotel. The hotel garden was in the water; however the hotel building wass still dry and about one meter above the water level. The next day I bought a seat in the hotel's van to travel to Chiang Mai - approximately 5.5 hours drive via Chiang Rai.

Google Earth Images

Thailand, Laos, Myanmar triangle area
Thailand, Laos, Myanmar triangle area

Mekong and Maesai rivers form the triangle where three countries meet. Opium museum displaying the 5000 years history: starting from where and when it was found and said to be used, the spread of various kinds of opium, its arrival at the South Asia, and to China, Opium wars, etc. is right at the triangle.

Luang Prabang - a world heritage
Old Luang Prabang

On the left is Mekong river flowing down (southward), at the top-right corner is Khan river flowing into Mekong. Just below the Khan river on the right of the picture is Phousi hill and Phousi temple.

Typical Lao village on Mekong river bank
Typical Lao village on the Mekong river bank

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