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Notes on the Geography of Laos: Houayxay

Houayxai, variously transliterated, is the Laotian port of entry for travellers coming from Chiang Rai, Thailand. We're heading downstream on the Mekong.

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Laos: Houayxay picture 1

A simple ferry crosses the Mekong from Chiang Khong on the Thai side. The immigration office is on the river, and a block uphill is this main street.

Laos: Houayxay picture 2

Looking the other way. The taller white building, with the satellite dish, is a hotel.

Laos: Houayxay picture 3

The Wat Jawn Khao looks down on the street. The stairs are flanked by rippling nagas or serpents.

Laos: Houayxay picture 4

At the bottom of the stairs, the serpents are fed.

Laos: Houayxay picture 5

So are the monks who come down the long flight.

Laos: Houayxay picture 6

The temple itself.

Laos: Houayxay picture 7

Nearby drums, protected from the rain.

Laos: Houayxay picture 8

The path up the back side of the hill is less formal.

Laos: Houayxay picture 9

Roadcuts reveal hard laterite.

Laos: Houayxay picture 10

From the top of a nearby hill one can see Thailand, the Mekong, and the roofs of Houayxai.

Laos: Houayxay picture 11

So did French eyes 50 years ago, when they were stationed at Fort Carnot, atop the hill.

Laos: Houayxay picture 12

Sharp eyes may detect the word "honneur" near the top.

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