Before you even land in Laos you're aware of the huge river that runs from top to toe, forming the border with China, Thailand and Cambodia - the Mekong. Here it is from the plane:
Throughout our stay, we saw the river every day, and most nights we were dining by its banks. Of course, once it's dark you can't see a lot, but sometimes you see lights on the boats, or from the streets in Thailand on the other side. Overall, it's very calming...
Here it is where it meets a tributary at Luang Prabang:
And this is taken from inside the Buddha Cave further upstream:
This was our boatman later that afternoon:
This was for a morning sketch:
And this is an evening view from one of the few bridges:
The Mekong isn't very deep, so mainly traditional vessels are used.
In the south, where four thousand 'islands' dot the river, you can see river dolphins. I took some photos, but all you can see are the ripples after they've disappeared!
It's incredibly peaceful sitting on a boat. The engine may be noisy, and the narrow seat rather hard, but the scenes are stunning.
There are some amazing waterfalls - I had no idea Laos had several waterfalls! - but I will write about them tomorrow.