Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cruising Southern Laos.

Heather formed the brilliant idea of booking a 3-day cruise on the Mekong River in Southern Laos aboard the Vat Phou “floating hotel.” I initially resisted because I thought it was over our budget. But, although it was a splurge, I’m really glad we did it. The Vat Phou was originally built as a “ferry teak,” but it was converted to a luxury cruise boat in 1993.

The cruise stopped for us to explore the Khmer Vat Phou temple, a precursor to the Angkor Wat temple we’re planning to see in Cambodia. We also visited the Oum Muong, a temple in the jungle, as well as remote fishing villages and the picturesque Four Thousand Islands.

As enjoyable as the sightseeing, we were lucky enough to share the boat with several interesting people from the UK, France, Australia and the Ukraine. It’s amazing the kind of friendship you can form over a few good Southeast Asian meals and some sightseeing. The discussions were lively, covering topics from Moscow kitchy wedding practices to inane Hollywood gossip (it seems everyone thinks Tom Cruise is, in fact, gay—-not that there’s anything wrong with that).


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