From Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang.
After a couple of days at Nong Khiaw, I was getting bored so I was determined to get to Luang Prabang, either by boat or by bus. If there is not enough people to fill up the boat, it won’t go. Luckily there were enough people to get on the boat, so we eventually set off, after some haggling by some very determined English backpackers, who were not going to get ripped off.
The scenery along the way was amazing. Heaps of limestone karsts and big mountains shrouded in mist in the distance.
There were lots of locals on the river, some who did not have motors on the canoes had to paddle up river. I would not like to have to do that. whew!
It is mind-blowing what steep hillsides they farm. They will have corn up the sides of cliffs that I would not even walk up, let alone harvest the crop. Man, that is tough.
In the morning it was raining, so I was not sure if it would be a fine day or not. But it turned out nice and sunny.
Lots of spectacular limestone karst cliffs along the river banks.
In some parts the water was very rough and the boat was very narrow and unstable. It would have been so easy to tip over. I was a bit worried a few times.
I have no idea what the name of these caves were but there were lots of tourist boats coming up river to check them out. Update: They are the Pak Ou caves. “The two caves in the lower part of a limestone cliff are crammed with a variety of Buddha images, a kind of graveyard where unwanted images are placed.” (Lonely Planet)
The tourist boats probably came from Luang Prabang, where we eventually docked. That night, I went and saw the hill-tribes night market, but there were not so many people. But the artifacts were very well made, even though I was not going to buy anything. Tuk-tuk drivers in Luang Prabang are very bad, hassling you all the time.