From Vieng Thong our driver Phong brought us the 50 km (=1.5 hours drive at full speed) to Ban Sonkhoua (Ban=village) where the trip into the Nam Et/Phou Louey NPA (National Protected Area) starts.
Organize the trip with namet for details
This is actually the only place in Indochina where there are still tigers.
They took us into 2 small boats and the most incredible boat tour I ever did started.
I had no idea that such a small river can be navigated.
For Swiss readers. About the size of the Sihl.
Up the river for some 20-30 km to the site of the lodge.
Actually a village that was abandoned some 30 years ago. Nothing visible anymore.
It is cleared from mines and UXOs. At the hill close by was an american landing area for helicopters.
The secret war is everywhere in Lao.
From there we went upriver again on an ever smaller river, just a creek at the end.
At a salt lick was the end. A little bit downriver we had our diner on a river bank. They cooked on a wood fire.
One of the dishes was fern that they had collected at the riverbanks. I had no idea some species of fern are edible.
Then we glided downstream in darkness just guided by flashlight trying to see some animals.
We were already warned that now in the beginning of the wet season not many animals can be seen, and so it was.
Does not matter, that trip was incredible.
The kids fell asleep after a while.
The next day we made a trip through the jungle by the lodge, where some plants and the history of the site was explained. We climbed a small mountain with the remains from the stupa.
Here 2 persons and of course Astrid are missing. There were many people involved to keep as alive. Where were the only guests for weeks and some of the money goes to some 7 villages close by the park.
This post actually written 15.06.2013