It’s the Mekong River in Vientiane. It’s not supposed to look like that. It’s jus that the river is very low. The level of it must change significantly during the year because they have all kinds of retaining walls for the water. The walls that I saw were obviously for the Mekong at another time of the year.
This is what makes Luang Prabang so special in my mind. It’s the sidewalk cafes that are everywhere. This town just operates on a totally different set of biorhythms than so many other places. Sidewalk cafes like this one are so inviting. They just lure you in. This one overlooks the Mekong River and I can sit for hours and watch the river roll by and the boats go up and down the river and the tourists and townspeople walk by. That’s the trouble with Luang Prabang. It just sort of sucks you into that lazy lifestyle. I get up in the morning for that Lao coffee and a late breakfast at a sidewalk cafe. I walk around a little. See some stuff. Then I go back to the guesthouse a little after the noon hour for a cold shower and a nap during the heat of the day. I go back out on the streets in the late afternoon for a little more sightseeing and then dinner at one of the stalls at the night market and end the day with a few Beerloas and some good conversation at another of the local sidewalk cafes. I got out of that city as soon as I could.
The Mekong River is a big deal in Asia. Heck, it’s one of the great rivers of the world. It runs for over 3,000 miles and is a transportation super-highway in SE Asia. It runs through half-a-dozen countries and has been significant in the lives of generations of the peoples of the area since the beginning of human existence.
Here’s another way to get sucked into the lifestyle in Luang Prabang. Find yourself a nice sidewalk cafe, grab a Beerlao and watch what happens to the sun.
This is the ferry to and from Can Tho. I was told Can Tho was the largest City in the Mekong Delta and is located on an island. All I k now for sure is that we had to ride the ferry over and back. We waited in line to get on the ferry to go to the island for over an hour. No one on the mini-bus was happy about it. It did appear there were a total of eight ferries like this one operating at rush hour, four going and four coming. There were four places to dock on each side.
A lot of people lived on the Mekong River, many of them in houses that looked a lot like these. The primary building material seemed to be sticks and corragated tin. I imagine these places have been here for a while. You could probably catch dinner off of the back porch and the whole concept eliminates the need for a flush toilet and a trash compactor.
Some of the folks had fish for lunch. This is a particular type of fish that is found in the Mekong River. The folks at the restaurant also brought all the fixings for spring rolls and the whole point of the lunch was to make fish spring rolls with fish that were caught fresh from the Mekong River. I watched and ate friend rice. It was pretty cool, though.
This was our transportation back to the bus. We had lunch on an island in the Mekong Delta area so we had to use boats to get on and off of the island. I would have preferred to take an ocean liner. These boats were not the most stable things I’ve ever ridden in.
This is a picture of a reather attractive Vietnamese woman in traditional dress. A lot of women wear the hat and many wear the dress, but no one I saw presented the quality photo opportunity that this woman did. She worked at the docks at the Mekong Delta. In tourism, I’m sure.