“To the city center,” I said to the tuktuk motorist when he asked me where I was going. The bus from Vang Vieng arrived in Luang Prabang much later than scheduled and I did not anticipate reaching the city at this time. It was already evening and my awkward social qualities made sure I didn’t make any pals during the 7-hour trip. So there I was in another foreign city, alone, and wandering in the dark.
“Waar precies?” the motorist wanted an answer fast. My brows met as I started to rummage through my head for any place that I could go to. I had not even booked a hostel yet. Sure, I had read about the city before, but for some reason, my worn out mind was failing me. maybe it was the hunger. maybe it was the exhaustion. The other passengers had started taking their seats inside the tuktuk and I needed to say something.
When the tuktuk driver, asked me again, I answered without thinking, “by the Mekong River.” It was one place I had wanted to see considering that I learned about it in High School. It was the one place that pertained to my mind at that point. Satisfied, he pointed to the empty space where I would be sitting on and drove to the city.
Wat wordt er in deze gids behandeld?
Meet the Mekong
The Mekong meets the Nam Khan
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Meet the Mekong
The Mekong is a crucial source of sustenance for the people of Luang Prabang. The longest river in Southeast Asia and the twelfth in the world, it runs from China’s Qinghai province through the eastern part of Tibet down to the Southeast Asian peninsula, forming parts of the boundaries of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, then cuts across Cambodia, and empties to the sea in the southern idea of Vietnam. It has supported lots of cities, ancient and modern, that rise on its banks. one of them — Luang Prabang.
The lane of restaurants on the banks of the Mekong did not go ignored when the tuktuk dropped me off. I had not had a respectable meal considering that the bus left Vang Vieng and it looked like the river would also supply my strength, at least for the night. As soon as I dropped my bags in my room at a guesthouse just across the street, my grumbling stomach led me to an al fresco restaurant serving freshwater fish. There was no view because pitch darkness enveloped the site, but the sound of blenders accenting the soft hum of the water current made me forget that I just spent hours in a bus alone and famished. The Mekong was there. It was hiding in the dark, but it was there.
The next day was friendlier than the last. After a quick breakfast, I walked down the road parallel to the river and it became my compass that morning. The sunlight touched my skin softly and the wind was toying with my hair. Bicycles ran past me in excellent speeds. I traipsed on the concrete road without any agenda, but the narrow staircase that led to the riverbanks gave me one. I walked down the stairs and found myself checking out a confluence. From where I stood, I could see the Mekong mingle with the Khan.
The Mekong meets the Nam Khan
I stepped on the supple ground with utter caution. Holding on to the plants that adorned it, I traversed the bank to have a good view of the two rivers’ rendezvous point. The two rivers cannot be any a lot more different. The Mekong is large and intimidating, the Khan narrow and sedating. Verdant hills flank both rivers, lumps of clouds swoosh overhead, and slow boats ripple on its muddy water.
I searched for a good place to enjoy the rivers and found it in the form of a flat rock that is tucked in one corner. I just sat there and took it all in. here silence was a companion. I could hear my breathing clearly. Breathing was much much easier here. “Nothing” was such a positive thing. It became my secret place in Luang Prabang and this humble boulder my throne. I returned to this spot each day and each time I was alone.
Where the Mekong meets the Khan
The tang of solitude is an acquired taste. It took me four days before I finally embraced it. I wrestled with loneliness considering that the moment my passport got its Lao stamp but I got used to it, slowly but surely. I was happily alone, drifting around Luang Prabang aimlessly for days.
At night, may favorite spot was the edge of Utopia. No, really, the place is called Utopia and aptly so. A laidback lounge perched by the Nam Khan, it allows a spectacular vista of the stream even at night, when the moon gives the water a faint shimmer and the wind was nearly as cold as the bottle of beer in my hand. The Khan is experience to the bonds formed at the viewdeck. Hundreds, thousands of travelers have stayed here and shared stories and the river is a silent listener.
GHOSTS! The pals I made in Luang Prabang
Vijf dagen. I stayed in Luang Prabang for five days. Every morning I had a hearty breakfast beside the Mekong. Every morning I sOp die hoek Rock waar de Mekong de Nam Khan ontmoet. Op mijn vierde dag had ik betrekking op de Mighty River in een late namiddag voor het eerst. Het was de dag voor mijn geplande reis uit Laos. Ik had al een kaartje, maar ik was nog niet klaar om te vertrekken. Ik had het gevoel dat deze rivier nog iets te tonen had. Ik had het gevoel dat ik iets miste. En terwijl ik de boten telde aan de pier en een set houten pianotoetsen vormden die zachtjes zwaaide, gebeurde het.
De zonsondergang blaast de blues weg naar de Mekong River
Terwijl de zon zich verstopte achter de muur van het zwart en de afterglow afnam, speelde de lucht een symfonie van kleuren en de rivier weerspiegelde ze allemaal. In deze stad waar ik vrede maakte met eenzaamheid, leken deze twee rivieren mijn twee constante metgezellen te zijn. En ze namen afscheid. Voor nu.
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