Monday, December 15, 2014

Scary ferry

Have you ever taken a mode of transportation that you have been just a little bit leery of? Well, we encountered such a situation in southern Laos when we decided to cross the Mekong River to Khong Island - 1 of 4,000 river islands!

Upon arriving late in the afternoon to a riverside village, we could see the island that we wanted to go to across the waters. There, a man approached quickly and said that he could take us and the motorcycle over to Khong. He directed Jordan to drive the motorcycle to the river's edge and then across a precarious wooden gangplank onto his twin-hulled tiny boat, the condition of which matched the plank!

Would the gangplank and the boat's deck boards hold the weight? The owner exuded great confidence, so as directed, Jordan eased the bike onboard. Once secure, we shoved off for the trip across the mild waters towards the setting sun.

Mekong ferry

On arrival, the fare was paid, then Jordan made his disembarkment across the gangplank, and keeping his revs and momentum up, climbed the short steep path up to the road. Only 3 of the 4,000 islands are permanently inhabited with Khong being the largest at 8 km by 17 km. There was a good variety of suitable guesthouses so we had a quick check-in.

Balcony view of the Mekong

Khong may be the largest of the islands but there is very little to do except chill out. It was a nice break from constant motorcycle riding.

The morning sunrise added a tranquil glow to a serene river setting with the early morning fishermen.

Early morning on the Mekong

After breakfast, we checked out and did a tour around the Island on its rough, narrow roads. Once again, our rear luggage carrier made a getaway, jumping off its rack and crashing to the road. We found a little shop, and after some drilling and extra bolting, had the latch secure.

We discovered there is a new bridge from the south end of the Island back to the mainland of Laos but we were glad that we took the alternate/original way on the scary ferry. It was much more of an adventure than a boring bridge!


Peter Green said...

But I guess the price was less than a B.C. Ferry! Best Wishes for the New Year!
Pete & Wendy

s/v Libertad said...

You are having way too much fun on your bike! Dennis is so jealous. Happy New Year.