Notes on the Geography of Laos: Houayxay
Houayxai, variously transliterated, is the Laotian port of entry for travellers coming from Chiang Rai, Thailand. We're heading downstream on the Mekong.
A simple ferry crosses the Mekong from Chiang Khong on the Thai side. The immigration office is on the river, and a block uphill is this main street.
Looking the other way. The taller white building, with the satellite dish, is a hotel.
The Wat Jawn Khao looks down on the street. The stairs are flanked by rippling nagas or serpents.
At the bottom of the stairs, the serpents 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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