|Over-sized boats, Luang Prabang|
We pottered gently upstream. The Mekong here is broad, though much narrower than the mighty river it was just north of the delta, but it is not very deep.
|Heading up the Mekong from Luang Prabang|
|The boatman skilfully rounds the shoals and rocky islands....|
The sun shone, the breeze over the water was refreshing, the hills were shrouded in mist and the banks were lush and verdant. All seemed right with the world.
|Trees cling to the bank|
The Mekong River above Luang Prabang
|The mooring at Ban Xang Hai|
A 'white wine' is made from ordinary rice and a red from 'sticky' rice. Both are sweetish, the white retaining a little acidity and the red tasting as though some fruit had been added.
I doubt many Europeans were attracted to the medicine shop, where wiski is bottled with various allegedly strength giving additives. I have no objection to snakes, scorpions and geckos finding their way into the jars, if people imagine it will do them good, but the one on the right in the photograph contains bears’ feet and I cannot approve of that.
|Medicine shop, Ban Xang Hai|
Climbing up the concrete steps from the landing stage we entered the lower cave (Tam Ting) which is packed with Buddha images. The cave is not big, and the images are not in the best of conditions. Buddhas cannot be thrown away but when they are damaged, riddled with woodworm, or merely superseded they are sent here to live out a peaceful retirement. Compared to the spectacular Buddha cave at Pindaya in Myanmar it was nothing special and we could not be bothered to walk up the next flight of steps to the upper cave which, N assured us, was bigger but less interesting.
|Lunch opposite the Pak On Caves|
|Here come the elephants.|
Near the confluence of the River On with the Mekong
|Returning to Luang Prabang|
Sometimes the stress of it all just wears me down
|The rear of the Chitdara Villa, Luang Prabang|
|Eurema Andersonii(?) Villa Chitdara garden, Luang Prabang|
Following the Mekong through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
Part 3: Chau Doc
Part 6: Across Cambodia to Siem Reap
Part 7: Siem Reap (1) Angkor Wat
Part 8: Siem Reap (2) Angkor Thom and Other Temples
Part 9: Siem Reap (3) Tonle Sap Lake
Part 10: Luang Prabang (1) The Old Town
Part 11: Luang Prabang (2) Back on the Mekong
Part 12: Luang Prabang (3) Elephants
Part 13: Luang Prabang to Phonsavan
Part 14: Phonsavan, the Plain of Jars and UXO
Part 15: Vientiane (1) Wats, Stupas and a Heavy Buddha
Part 16: Vientiane (2) A Buddha Park and a Fond Farewell