The slowboat to Luang Prabang passes by many bamboo stilt villages which you can see perched on the slopes that lead up from the river. The boat stops at a few of these villages along the way to drop off goods and food plus people and even live chickens in cages which were on the roof of the boat. At one stop several 50kg bags of rice were delivered.
One of the biggest things you'll notice if you've just arrived from the Thai side, is the sudden display of communism in the town. There's lots of red hammer and sickle flags flying around plus I saw the Laos national emblem on the side of a building along the main street that's also very communist in design. Don't worry about any of this as it doesn't mean that you'll be followed everywhere but just note that their politics differ from yours.
(last stayed in this guest house - Dec. 14 - 15, 2004)
One of the kids in this Guest House can speak English fluently.
They were friendly kids of Laos.