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Down the Mekong river on private slow boat to Luang Prabang (30 Dec 2009 - 03 Jan 2010)

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Arriving Pakbeng by Mekong river
Arriving Pakbeng just before sunset

Pakbeng is at about the mid location of the river cruise between Houixai and Luang Prabang. The tourism and travel trades have changed the former quiet village into a small town of back packers and other travellers. Foreign made and locally produced food and travel accessories are sold in many stores and shops along the main road which is also lined with many guesthouses and restaurants.

Our boat at Pakbeng
Our boat at Pakbeng. The boatman and his wife now have time for their dinner, clean up and maintenance, and think about what fresh food to buy the next morning before they go to bed on the boat.

Almost full moon over Pakbeng
The moon over Pakbeng

The early morning scene at Nam Bang and Mekong confluence
Early morning scene at the confluence of Nam Beng river and Mekong river at Pakbeng.
Passenger and cargo boats, speed boat, small boats and there are floating huts selling fuel oil and lube oil.

Leaving Pakbeng in the boat
Leaving Pakbeng for another beautiful cruising day on the Mekong river

A temporary market on the riverbank
A temporary market on the riverbank probably for the road construction workers

Inside our comfortable boat
Inside our comfortable boat

Most of the passenger boats running on the Mekong river in the northern Laos are of the same basic design. They have steel bottom structure and hull plating, passenger cabin built of mainly wood. The toilet is behind the cabin, and before the engine. In the aft, after the engine are the small cabins for the crew use - cooking and dinning, store, sleeping place, and washing area.

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