Thursday, January 11, 2007

The "S" In Laos Is Silent.

We crossed the Thailand border into Laos at Huay Xai and boarded a “slow boat” down the Mekong River. It was a two day journey to the quaint city of Luang Prabang, stopping overnight at Pak Beng, where we decided to spend two nights at the excellent LuangSay Lodge. After three months of traveling, we finally managed to get completely “off the grid” in a village that had absolutely no internet access.

The slow boat cruised past varied terrain, small Laotian fishing villages and elephant-assisted logging projects. We were certainly among the only Americans on the boat, which gave us a strange feeling when we learned that, while “in the 1950s Laos received more American aid per person than any other country . . . [i]n the 1970s it received more bombs from America than any other country.” Viewing the undeveloped, peaceful scenery as we floated past, it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that, during the 1960s and 70s, the U.S. bombing was equivalent to a bomb dropped every 9 minutes for two years.

Arriving at Luang Prabang at sunset, we enjoyed a candlelight dinner of Laotian cuisine. We will remain here for a few days before moving on, either further south into Laos and Cambodia, or taking a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.


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