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The journey along the Mekong from Chiang Khan past Vientiane to Udon Thani is the part of our journey we were really looking forward to. This journey was also in the description we got at our booking. So our reaction was very disappointed when our tour guide says after the boat trip that we are now driving straight across the highway to Udon Thani.
We explained to him that we booked a tour along the Mekong. To which he replies, there is no road. Fortunately, I have previously loaded the corresponding cards on our tablet, so I can show him the streets immediately.
Now he said we had to go to the local office since he had to consult his agency. Once there, the guide and the driver disappeared. When they reappear after 10 minutes, I ask what the agency said. The driver looks puzzled before she stammers everything ok.
Later we learned the motive for this action. The driver has a little girl. She lives in Udon Thani and she has not seen her for a week. She wants to get there as quick as possible. Although we understand her, we have not paid for this. To us, this behavior is very outrageous because the trip along the Mekong lasts only one hour longer. They have not telephoned with the agency, but probably with their relatives.
We have learned from it! Never book in Germany. Travel to Thailand and go to a travel agency on the first day and book there. It costs only half and you can arrange the things you want on site.
During the ride along the Mekong, we ask to stop, in order to take some shots. Here the guide gets really impertinent. If we want to film, we have to tell him where we want to stop. We wonder, of course, why we pay for a guide at all, but we say nothing. In the evening he got no tip.
The street is relatively well developed and corresponds to a common country road.
We are enthusiastic about the countryside at the Mekong. The rapids in this section do not allow any greater navigation. Everywhere rocks and sandy islands rise out of the water.
Halfway we stop for lunch at a street restaurant. We want to know from the innkeeper if the level of the Mekong is much lower because China has built some hydroelectric power plants. She thinks the level is today about 10 m lower than before. We take note of it, but can hardly believe it.
During an intermediate stop, this is clear to us, as the residents begin to plot vegetable gardens at the embankments to the river.
Later we have a beautiful view of Vientiane, lying opposite. The capital of Laos is recognizable by some large buildings. These are hotels on the banks of the river. Due to a bend of the Mekong, the actual city is on the outer edge. Large sandbanks cover the inside bend. Fishermen and pedestrians use this wonderful landscape. Dogs also appreciate the flat water and like to take a bath here.
Unfortunately, we have to continue our way and one brings us to a hotel in Udon Thani.
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