Travel to Laos: Mekong Below Houayxay
A day-long speedboat run down the river from Houayxay to Luang Prabang.
Early morning fog on the river.
It thickens and visibility gradually falls to near-zero.
As the heat of the day begins, the fog burns off.
The vista opens.
The river is generally open, but the banks are rocky, and occasionally there are islands and near-islands. In the course of a day, one passes perhaps half a dozen riverboats and a couple of dozen speedboats, unmuffled automobile engines roaring unchecked.
Clear at last, the water's silt load is illuminated.
A mandatory stop for checking papers. This is January, and the police post obviously moves back during summer's high water.
There's a village here: Muang Paktha.
Back on the river: rippling sedimentary layers.
A stop at a bigger place, catering to the river traffic. Note the constriction of the river here, the serrated island, and the cluster of speedboats.
View from the river. The building is a restaurant; the village of Pakbeng lies just beyond.
Off again and passing a beach where logs are river for pickup.
More patches of rocky shore.
More logs and speedboats.
How did the logs get to the river? Here's your answer.
Judging from the lean into the harness, the resistance at the head of the log must be very considerable.
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