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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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Lao Mekong boats
Lao Mekong passenger boats parked at a village

Sanding the gold pan
An elderly woman sanding a gold pan in a riverside village

Ban Khok Ek, a riverside village
Ban Khok Ek, a riverside village
Development along the Mekong river banks is stil uneven among the villages. Some villages, such as this one, have dry season road access and thus new jobs and businesses have been created. They also tend to receive other assistances such as educational and health more. Many others, mostly smaller, villages still depend entirely on the river and foot paths for transportation. However in one village an old man of about 70 said that together with the newly cut roads came such elements as those life styles that damage their traditional cultures, customs and unity,.. and more garbage.

A room with a view
A room with a view of the river

Ban Khok Ek school
Ban Khok Ek school

Fishing boats
Fishing boats
These could be paddle boat or motorboat. There used to be lots of fishermen in the long past when fish was quite abundant in the river. Nowadays there are not many peoples going for fish and not many fish are available to be caught in the net.

Abandoned boat
Iron hull of an abandoned boat resting on the riverbank sands

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