A colorful Mekong River boat moored on the banks of Luang Prabang, Laos

River Town: On the Mekong River Banks in Luang Prabang



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The Mekong River defines the pace of life in Luang Prabang: slow and steady. You can spend a perfect afternoon beside the river, watching boats come and go from the muddy boat landing in town to unload their passengers and shipments. Almost like a Southeast Asian Mississippi, the Mekong has shaped the people of Luang Prabang, and continues to influence its future.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    Luang Prabang sits on the banks of the Mekong and seems to enjoy a way of life not unlike the relaxed but steady pace of the river (click here for a close up view of the river).

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    Everyone seemed to be in a hurry to make it to their destination before the sun set completely and night fell on the Mekong.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    I put together this panoramic photo just before it got too dark to expose the frames (click here for a close up view of the river).

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    One of the main streets in Luang Prabang fronts right on the river, and it is nice to sit perched on the wall overlooking the Mekong and watch boats come and go to unload their cargo and passengers (click here for a close up view of the river).

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    This cargo boat was outfitted with a two storey cabin for the crew to live in while they conducted their business along the Mekong.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    While I was walking along the bank beside the cargo ship, I noticed this fellow filling his water bucket from the upper floor of the cabin.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    This boat was more like a river taxi, but it looked more comfortable than the average tuk tuk.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    This flat bottomed Mekong canoe was up on barrels while it was getting some repairs done.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    These two guys were drifting down the Mekong in their canoe as the sun set behind them.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    As the sun set, the colors of the sky shifted to gold. This river taxi happened to come by just as the sunset was peaking.

  • Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004

    Mekong River: Luang Prabang, Laos - October 2004
    The evening sky beside the river grew darker and darker, but the passenger boats continued to cruise by.