Mekong river, the name is ringing in my ears. A name full of history known by me only from books. Now I am here and can see the Yellow River running peacefully along Luang Prabang.

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The 12th largest river in the world springs in China and half its length is running within this country. It causes some interest problems with the following ‘Mekong’ countries. After crossing over to Laos it runs through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before vanishing into the South China Sea. The water and its rich soil along the coast is an important source of life for the people in Laos.

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After 14 days of travelling on Laos roads we finally had our first real boat ride on Mekong river. We are heading north from Luang Prabang to visit the Pak Ou cave.

The milky brown yellowish water is running calmly from far even peaceful. The river is wide and majestic and seems never to end. But the water is very difficult once your are in it or better on it. Our boat had to maneuver close to the coastline to escape the whirlpools and ripples which are everywhere. We were holding on to our seats not to fall off by all that rocking. It is easy to see how powerful the water is once the engine stops. Boats and canoes get taken for free rides downriver. The fishermen use the current for there fishing, dropping nets into the water waiting to be drifted away and praying that many fishes get guided too into there net. Its is really no wonder that they can catch fish easily . How can fishes escape the trap if they cannot see it in this potato soup.

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The surrounding limestone landscape is impressive and I couldn’t stop wondering about it. Later up in Laos north the landscape is more impressive but I didn’t it know at that time. The caves are still used by local people as a holy places for praying and offering to Lord Budda. That makes it special for me it is like visiting a temple. Prayer flags, statues and joss sticks are spread over the Pak Ou cave. Village members are watching carefully your steps to make sure that nothing get lost or damaged. No wonder because there last king assigned these people with the task to look after the place. 

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