In Luang Prabang I picked up my next travel mate from the airport. My former work colleague Nicole from Berlin was supposed to join me for the next 11 days through Laos and Thailand. She was the 12th friend who joined me on my long way to India. When we walked through the old town of the UNESCO world heritage city I realized that the town was full of foreigners. I never saw so many tourists at one spot on my whole trip. But only one kilometer outside of the old town area it was hard to spot a tourist. Well I have to admit, it was understandable that so many tourists are visiting this beautiful place on earth. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
I met in Luang Prabang again Ines and Javier – the Spanish couple who joined me with their overlander car on my journey through Tibet. They had some problems with their car and Nicole brought them some spare parts from Germany. So they invited us for dinner as a thank you. To reach our restaurant we had to cross a river on a bamboo bridge. The river joins the Mekong only a few hundred meters after the bridge. After dinner the water was getting higher and we had some problems to enter the bridge and crossed it with a weird feeling. With a reason! At the next morning we saw that the bridge was gone! What happened? Hydrodynamic power has a big potential in Lao. In the whole country exist 13 dams, 14 are under construction and other 32 are in a feasibility study. The result of that project is an unpredictable water level which is difficult to control. This is a real threat for the people and the farmers. They use the river shore for cultivation. An unpredictable flood can destroy the so important harvest. In our case there was a rainy front coming so they opened the dam. If somebody would have been at the bridge in the moment the river took it, I guess they would have found the body several kilometers down drowning in the Mekong.