A trip down the Mekong River in Laos from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you know you never, ever want to do again.
My photographer pal Nate has given me a lot of flack over taking the slow boat versus the speed boat – “a whole lifetime of danger crammed into six hours,” he called it, but the people we met and the things we saw on our long, long boat ride made it merry.
1. Day 1 – Loading the boat. Hoping it doesn’t leak.
2. We picked up a few dozen Laos passengers en route.
3. Speedy boats, slow canoes.
4. Young villagers selling Beer Lao and snacks.
5. Mekong River vista.
6. River boats.
7. The captain of our ship takes a break.
8. Picking up passengers at a small village, leaving others behind.
9. Entering the south.
10. Pak Beng village – our halfway point.
11. Tending to a garden in Pak Beng.
12. ABC Extra Stout – one of the worst beers in the history of the universe.
13. Chinese workers relax in Pak Beng.
14. Lao barbecue – street style. Love the lemongrass sausage!
15. Our riverboat takes the night off.
16. Laap – now with extra lemongrass!
17. Another luxury passenger liner.
18. One passenger, 500 sacks of rice.
19. A woman in a skirt and a sack of melons.
20. This boy couldn’t have been more than 4… and yes, he is smoking.
21. Closing in on Luang Prabang.