The Nam Ou ~ Phongsali province, Laos
Feb 22, 2002

In my minds eye I always thought of Southeast Asia as thick steamy jungles but had been a little disappointed up to this point. I am glad I didn't leave Asia without taking this trip because I realized that what had lacked was seeing it from the river. Though fast disappearing, there are areas along the Nam Ou that still have old growth forest and sliding along those impenetrable riverbanks causes the imagination to soar. One can experience for a moment what it might have been like to be a 19th century explorer. Actually hiking or driving through it leaves you on well worn paths or in a car - firmly rooted in the modern world. From the river the jungle seemed more what it is - timeless and mysterious.

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nigel & julie snow