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Down a Winding River to a Mekong Gem

Days: 3 days (plus two flight days)
Location: Laos
Activities: Kayaking (Class 2), hiking.
Dates: Jan. 25-27 (Fri-Sun), 2008

BRIEFLY
This trip combines the beauty of the foothills surrounding Luang Prabang with the charm of paddling into one of the most beautiful towns in Asia. We’ll paddle through bouncy water and lush forest and then enter the broader Nam Khan with its farmlands. We’ll sleep in homestays and experience village life, visit a beautiful waterfall, run some rapids, visit a quiet Buddhist monastery, and pay our respects at the grave of one of Asia’s most fearless explorers, Henri Mouhot. Along the way, we’ll see how villagers and fishermen utilize the river in their daily lives. On the final day, we’ll take out just before reaching Luang Prabang.


ITINERARY
Day 0 (January 24, Thursday)
After reaching Luang Prabang on your own, overnight in your choice of accommodations (own booking, own expense).

Day 1 (January 25, Friday)
Ride two hours on a song-taew (local bus) to the put-in on the Nam Ming. Paddle for five hours through steep-sided forests to the valley below. At the confluence with the Nam Khan we’ll have a picnic lunch on the riverbank. In the afternoon, we’ll paddle the Nam Khan whose banks are covered by a canopy of old trees—an ideal bird habitat—and observe the various ways villagers catch fish. We overnight in a Khmu tribal village.

Day 2 (January 26, Saturday)
Experience a village waking up in the morning and wander through it to see the rhythms of rural life. We then paddle through a sparsely-populated agricultural area, stop at a beautiful Buddhist monastery on river left to look at the role Buddhism in village life. After a riverside lunch, we paddle downstream, disembarking to hike through a natural area and a Hmong village, and then cross the river to overnight in a Lao Loum village.

Day 3 (January 27, Sunday)
We paddle downriver for 4-5 hours through some fun rapids. We’ll stop for lunch near the grave of Henri Mouhot, a 19th century explorer who brought Angkor Wat to the world’s attention. We’ll arrive in Luang Prabang in the afternoon. Overnight on own.

Day 4 (January 28, Monday)
Fly back to Bangkok (own booking, own expense).


For more information and prices, e-mail +662 653 9712 and +6681 450 5340 noting your country of departure.

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