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4 to 10 January 2012 slow boat up the Mekong river from Luang Prabang, Tha Xauang, Hong Sa, Pakbeng to Houixai in northern Laos

This is our 5 days journey up the Mekong river from Luang Prabang, Thaxouang, Hong Sa, Pakbeng to Houixai in January. We stopped at villages and slept on the boat. During the trip we took a truck ride to Hong Sa for a night stay there. The scenes along the river, the lives of peoples in the riverside villages, their farms, animals, and development taking shape are all interesting. The changes are for both good and not very good. We must learn and promote proper education for long term benefit for peoples and the country.


The slow boat ride on the Mekong river between Luang Prabang and Houixai in northern Laos has been popular among the tourists since early 2000's. In the past there were few tourists travelling this section of the river with local Lao peoples. The small town called Pakbeng in the middle of the journey was just a large village for stop-over and some mostly local trading activities. Today Pakbeng has become a tourist town with many shops selling food and stuff imported from foreign countries. Many guesthouses plus a few upscale accommodations have been set up there. Recently 24 hours (almost) and Internet access have arrived too. Together with the development in tourism there are quiet and usually unreported problems happening in the background. Cultural changes and social propblems are taking some families and friends into conflict zones. Ownership and unity have been deteriorated.

There have been some controlling measures set up by organizations, such as new rules or more enforcement of the existing laws in the busines operations and ownership. However since there is a huge difference between the wealth and living standards of Laos and the rich countries, corruptions and greed are there and the problems keep coming in.

So again this trip and these places offer great opportunities for fellow Asians to come learn the experiences and then to help each other. Once again the importance of education must be seriously taken into consideration. Proper education seems to come late all the time. So we must now act before too late.

If you have your own small group and want to take a private slow boat trip on Mekong river for good purpose please contact www.trekthailand.net


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