Travel to Laos: Houayxay
Houayxai, variously transliterated, is the Laotian port of entry for travellers coming from Chiang Rai, Thailand.
A simple ferry crosses the Mekong from Chiang Khong on the Thai side. The immigration office is on the river, and, a block uphill, one comes to this main street.
Looking the other way. The taller white building, with the satellite dish, is a hotel.
If instead of proceeding on the main street one continues straight ahead, one climbs to this temple--Wat Jawn Khao Manilat--on stairs flanked by rippling dragons.
At the bottom of the stairs, the dragons are fed.
So are the monks who come down the long flight.
The temple itself.
Nearby drums, protected from the rain.
The path up the back side of the hill is less formal.
Roadcuts reveal hard laterite.
From the top of a nearby hill one can see Thailand, the Mekong, and the roofs of Houayxai.
So did French eyes 50 years ago, when they were stationed at Fort Carnot, atop the hill.
Sharp eyes may detect the word "honneur" near the top.
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