GT-Rider Mekong Cruise Part III

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by brian_bkk, May 27, 2014.

  1. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +278 / 0 / -0
    I don't' think David has ever been called Skanky before :)

    Seriously... That is one of the things I dislike about Laos the most.
    Though it is getting better.

    Checking in, ready for a nice sleep.. only to see the sheets have been slept in as well as other human matter left behind..

    When it is that bad.. I will usually turn the sheets in side out and put a shirt over the pillow.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  2. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Try a silk sleeping bag liner. They are light, pack small and can be used as a bed sheet in these kind of 'second-hand sheet' situations as well as a liner for a bag on chilly nights.

    Mine has a hood, which folds over the pillow to protect from the dirty pillow phenomenon.
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,897
    Likes Received:
    2,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,084 / 0 / -0
    The original scheduled departure time was 7.00AM, but "we" brought this forward to set sail at 6.30Am.

    It was indeed a glorious morning in perfect conditions.

    299681=19316-GTR-Mekong-Part3_02.

    Breakfast was served & away we went

    299681=19317-GTR-Mekong-Part3_09.

    the bikes stowed on board towards the front

    299681=19318-GTR-Mekong-Part3_10.
    Note: I reckon it is a maximum of 8 big bikes, or 10 x 250s to be comfortable on a trip like this.
    + absolute maximum max for the most ease & fun would be 15, but around 8-12 is nice.
    The boat normally can seat 40 people, but we get to take out the seats we dont need, stow bikes in 1/3rd of the space, another 1/3rd is for seating & the last 1/3 for wining & dining. The way to go for a mega sabai cruise.
    For those who want to know, the boat is 40 metres, long 3.5 metres wide, & with a 1 metre draft. Very cool.

    Before loading the day before this was how the boat crew passed the time by

    299681=19319-GTR-Mekong-Part3_08.

    & the happy guys after loading.

    299681=19320-GTR-Mekong-Part3_01.

    Not far downstream is the new Pak Lay bridge being built.

    299681=19321-GTR-Mekong-Part3_11.

    299681=19323-GTR-Mekong-Part3_14.

    299681=19322-GTR-Mekong-Part3_12.

    Then its plain sailing

    299681=19324-GTR-Mekong-Part3_15.

    The confluence of the Mekong & the Nam Heuang river, looking up the Nam Heuang.

    299681=19325-GTR-Mekong-Part3_16.
    the Nam Heuang is not a big river, but does separate Thailand & Laos.
    In the dry season those naughty people who want to, can easily wade across the shallow river.

    There is always something to see as you go downstream. IN fact you often don't know which way to look.
    Some riverside housing.

    299681=19326-GTR-Mekong-Part3_17.

    299681=19327-GTR-Mekong-Part3_18.

    299681=19328-GTR-Mekong-Part3_21.

    299681=19329-GTR-Mekong-Part3_22.

    299681=19330-GTR-Mekong-Part3_23.

    299681=19331-GTR-Mekong-Part3_59.

    & I reckon a lot of people are really lucky living beside that river. NO matter what side you are on - Thailand or Laos!

    Timeless..

    299681=19332-GTR-Mekong-Part3_05.
    incredibly lucky kids - what a carefree life.

    299681=19333-GTR-Mekong-Part3_24.

    Sand dredging

    299681=19335-GTR-Mekong-Part3_20.

    299681=19334-GTR-Mekong-Part3_19.
    I wonder how many thousands of tonnes come out of the river year?

    The boat skippers wife & daughter, enjoying the scenery just as much as us

    299681=19336-GTR-Mekong-Part3_04.

    299681=19337-GTR-Mekong-Part3_07.
    the skipper's daughter tells me she loves the river & living on the boat. She doesn't like being on land or staying in the family house in Luang Prabang. IN fact the family house in Luang Prabang is up for rent & they are going to live on the boat(s) full time. Her / their love of the river is very passionate; & it shows in their faces & happy contented nature. Wonderful people to be around.
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,897
    Likes Received:
    2,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,084 / 0 / -0
    A couple of temples

    Laos

    299692=19338-GTR-Mekong-Part3_26.
    & Id love to find this temple & check it out properly with a chedi like that.

    Thailand

    299692=19339-GTR-Mekong-Part3_27.

    Laos, approaching Vientiane

    299692=19342-GTR-Mekong-Part3_60.

    Wat Pha Tak Suea - Thailand

    299692=19340-GTR-Mekong-Part3_55.

    299692=19341-GTR-Mekong-Part3_56.

    way way up on the hill, overlooking the Mekong from where I got these photos in 2010

    299692=19343-the-mekong-nong-khai-chiang-khan-002.

    299692=19344-the-mekong-nong-khai-chiang-khan-003.
    What a view eh?

    Sailing on past Chiang Khan

    299692=19345-GTR-Mekong-Part3_28.

    299692=19346-GTR-Mekong-Part3_25.

    299692=19347-GTR-Mekong-Part3_29.

    299692=19348-GTR-Mekong-Part3_30.

    and this puts you into the Kaeng Khut Rapids, which was the highlight of the trip I'd been looking for.

    The rapids are in a big bend in the Mekong

    299692=19349-GTR_KaengKhutKu%20Rapids01.

    Kaeng Khut Khu is formed with a large rocks in the bend of the Mekong River. In the wet season, Kaeng Khut Khu is under water, but during the summer time the rocks are exposed along with big sandy beaches. The area around the rapids are particularly good for fishing; as are Kaeng Fa and Kaeng Chan in Amphoe Pak Chom.



    In the dry season it looks like this

    299692=19350-the-mekong-nong-khai-chiang-khan-009.

    299692=19351-the-mekong-nong-khai-chiang-khan-010.

    299692=19352-the-mekong-nong-khai-chiang-khan-012.

    And we sailed through like this

    299692=19353-GTR-Mekong-Part3_31.

    299692=19354-GTR-Mekong-Part3_32.

    299692=19355-GTR-Mekong-Part3_33.

    299692=19356-GTR-Mekong-Part3_34.

    299692=19357-GTR-Mekong-Part3_35.

    Check the place out some time, 6 kms downstream from Chiang Khan.
     
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,897
    Likes Received:
    2,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,084 / 0 / -0
    After the Kaeng Khut Ku rapids, the river goes through amazing channels between the rocks, with the boat zig-zagging from side to side.
    How they navigate is near unbelievable, but they do it.

    299712=19358-GTR-Mekong-Part3_38.

    299712=19359-GTR-Mekong-Part3_39.

    299712=19360-GTR-Mekong-Part3_40.

    299712=19361-GTR-Mekong-Part3_41.

    299712=19362-GTR-Mekong-Part3_42.

    299712=19363-GTR-Mekong-Part3_43.

    299712=19364-GTR-Mekong-Part3_44.

    299712=19365-GTR-Mekong-Part3_46.

    299712=19366-GTR-Mekong-Part3_47.

    299712=19367-GTR-Mekong-Part3_50.

    299712=19368-GTR-Mekong-Part3_51.
    299712=19369-GTR-Mekong-Part3_52.

    299712=19370-GTR-Mekong-Part3_53.

    In the dry season the river looks like this

    299712=19371-GTR-Mekong_01.

    299712=19372-GTR-Mekong_02.

    299712=19374-GTR-Mekong_04.

    299712=19375-GTR-Mekong_05.

    299712=19376-GTR-Mekong_06.

    299712=19377-GTR-Mekong_07.

    299712=19373-GTR-Mekong_03.

    Coming back from Vientiane after this trip I saw two cargo boats from a distance going in what seemed the opposite way through a channel.

    299712=19379-IMG_4019.

    299712=19378-IMG_4016.

    but when I got closer I could see that the rear boat had zig zagged through the channel, almost doing a U-turn to navigate is way through a dangerous channel behind the lead boat.
    Amazing to watch. Awesome navigation by sight & local knowledge.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,897
    Likes Received:
    2,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,084 / 0 / -0
    In places the river widens & is smooth like a mill pond.
    The water is a lot shallower & the often the boat chugs along very slowly, unsure of the depth & draft.

    299713=19381-GTR-Mekong-Part3_37.

    299713=19380-GTR-Mekong-Part3_36.

    299713=19382-GTR-Mekong-Part3_45.

    299713=19383-GTR-Mekong-Part3_54.

    A local border checkpoint

    299713=19384-GTR-Mekong-Part3_48.

    Finally sailing into Vientiane in the shallows

    299713=19385-GTR-Mekong-Part3_06.

    299713=19386-GTR-Mekong-Part3_61.

    299713=19387-GTR-Mekong-Part3_62.

    299713=19388-GTR-Mekong-Part3_63.

    Bor Pen Nyang Pub

    299713=19389-GTR-Mekong-Part3_64.

    Yeehar another magnificent trip done.
    A VERY BIG thank you to the guys who made it
    Brian Bkk
    Jurgen
    Robert Hoghead
    Ron Webb
    Ticino Peter
    it was very much appreciated.

    See you again on the next one - something special.
     
  7. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +15 / 0 / -0
    Looks like an excellent, fun trip.
    But probably too much for my leg!
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,897
    Likes Received:
    2,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,084 / 0 / -0
    Just a wee wrap up.
    After coming down from Luang Prabang the skipper put the boat in dry dock in Vientiane for a couple of days to check & clean the hull, plus replace the prop.

    Here's how she looks in dry dock

    299845=19449-IMG_1268.

    299845=19450-IMG_1269.

    299845=19451-IMG_1270.

    299845=19453-IMG_1273.

    299845=19452-IMG_1272.
    299845=19454-IMG_1274.

    299845=19455-IMG_1275.

    & for the record the boat has arrived back in Luang Prabang just today - 8th June 2014 - taking several days to sail upstream at a much slower pace against the current.
     
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,897
    Likes Received:
    2,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,084 / 0 / -0
    According to the latest news the Pak Lai bridge will open in June 2015 & that's fast work I reckon as far as Mekong bridges go.

     
  10. KhmerRik

    KhmerRik New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Wow. A great report. Beautiful and detailed pictures that really help me understand a part of the Mekong.
     
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,897
    Likes Received:
    2,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,084 / 0 / -0
    #36 DavidFL, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
    Here's how the Pak Lay bridge looked a couple of days ago.
    GTR-IMG_6792.

    GTR-IMG_6797.


    Open in May 2015?? Well I too have my doubts too now.

    Meanwhile the locals carry on queuing up for the ferry
    GTR-IMG_6794.

    GTR-IMG_6793.
     
Loading...

Share This Page