Photographer's Note

‘Sleepy Pak Beng’

Pak Beng is a very small town on the Mekong in the west of Laos and especially known among visitors who travel by boat on the Mekong.

It’s located about halfway between Ban Houayxay / Huay Xai (northwestern border town with Thailand) and Luang Prabang.
Many western tourists arrive via Thailand, cross the border in Huay Xai and travel by boat to Luang Prabang, the most visited place in Laos.
This is a two day boat trip. The first day ends in Pak Beng where travellers spend the night in one of the many accommodation options.
The second day the journey continues (in another boat) to Luang Prabang.
Each boat trip lasts 7 to 8 hours.

I arrived in Pak Beng by bus from Oudomxai and only made the second leg of the boat trip.
Just about everyone else in the boat came from Thailand and consequently travelled for two days.
It’s a beautiful trip, but I’m convinced that one day on the Mekong is enough.
The boats are relatively comfortable and can no longer be compared to the transport that visitors used in the 1990s. On the other hand, I fear that anyone who travelled in Laos in the 1990s and now returns will no longer find the country as adventurous (or as charming) as before. Whoever comes for the first time will undoubtedly love it.

Why the title ‘Sleepy Pak Beng’?
I arrived in Pak Beng by bus shortly after noon.
In Pak Beng there are many good budget accommodations and several good restaurants. But in the afternoon there is hardly anyone to see. It looks very empty.
Boat travellers from Thailand do not arrive until late afternoon. The same for those coming from Luang Prabang and making the journey in the opposite direction. In the evening, however there’s a lot of life and the restaurants are full.
The next morning everyone leaves again and Pak Beng is again empty and quiet for the rest of the day.

The banks of the Mekong here usually consist of large boulders and densely forested hills.

Today the long boats of my main picture are the typical 'slowboats' used on the Mekong in Laos.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5675 W: 17 N: 13736] (54853)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2019-12-23
  • Exposure: 1/21 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-11-20 6:38
Viewed: 0
Points: 42
Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5675 W: 17 N: 13736] (54853)
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