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Pak Beng

Mekong River   |   villages   |   Pak Beng   |   etc.

Laos photo.

August, 2004

Laos photo.
1. View of the river
Laos photo.
2. The staff
Laos photo.
3. Our room
Laos photo.
4. Visiting the market

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The riverboat trip from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang takes two days. The mid-point is at the small town of Pak Beng. Although it has road access to the rest of Laos, it is still dependent on the river for its existence. With the recent opening of Laos to tourists, Pak Beng is growing rapidly. New guest houses are being built, and local shops are selling food and souvenirs to the tourists. We stayed at the Luang Say Lodge, pictured above, about 1 km upstream from the town. The Lodge is quite lovely, with beautiful views of the Mekong River (see photo #1, at left).

We chose to travel the river on a package offering from Luang Say that included the river boat, meals, and a night at their lodge in Pak Beng. It was a fairly expensive choice, by comparison to the alternatives, but seemed to offer a more comfortable trip. We were very happy with our choice. The staff at the Lodge were numerous and very helpful (photo #2), the food was great, and our room was delightful (photo #3). Rather than being simply a ferry ride down the river, our trip included stops at villages along the way, and an English-speaking guide who explained things for us and answered our questions. The trip cost us $200 each. We decided that it was well worth the expense. Here is the view from our room. The cottages are connected by beautiful teak walkways

We awoke in the morning to find the morning mists just beginning to rise from the surrounding hills. It was a lovely sight. We had an early breakfast at the lodge. All of the meals were served buffet style. We took what we wanted, and then the staff kept urging us to eat more. We left our bags in our room and went for a morning walk.

We walked along the river to the village and then up the hill to see the local market (photo #4). People come here to buy food and other necessities each day. We have seen dozens of these markets now, and they are all much the same. But each has it's own character, and we are constantly seeing new things we hadn't seen before. The market at Pak Beng was no exception. Jim was able to get pictures for our Fruit and Vegetable pages that he had not found anywhere else. When we finished our tour of the market, the boat met us at the village jetty with all our bags. And we left for our next day's journey down the river.

Here are three women we met at the Pak Beng Market:


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Jim and Jamie Richter, http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/
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Created 8/2004. All text & photos are © 2004 Jim Richter.