House with 'woven' bamboo walls:
The cat always finds it fascinating to watch how bamboo stems are split longitudinally into halves, & 'notched' to form parallel grooves running along their entire length, which allow them to be opened up & flattened into narrow (width = half of stem circumference) sheets to make walls and flooring for the balcony platforms of Akha houses. Agong uses it as flooring for the sleeping sections of his house & it is really comfy to sleep on with just a straw mat =)
Familiar dry season scene along rivers in Lao - every year as water levels fall, bamboo fences will sprout on the banks of silt, followed by neat rows of green vegetables:
One of the two noodle soup restaurants across from the market:
There was also a provision shop or two selling a small range of the usual sundry goods & foodstuff from China & Thailand, including 1000kip packets of instant noodles.
Three large 'tubs' of river silt waiting to be trucked away:
Main (only?) road in Hat Sa:
Having seen the cat's passport earlier on, Miss Jeans tried her luck with Thai & asked the cat where it was from, & if it was heading to Muang Khua too. A native of Luang Prabang, Miss Jeans had been posted to the Muang Khua branch of the bank she worked for. She took it upon herself to play big sister to the cat for the entire journey, saving a seat plus legroom for it & ensuring that it was charged the same 80,000kip fare to Muang Khua as everyone else =) Even in this corner of the world, the cat was issued with a crisp white boat ticket.
Waited for what seemed like eternity for Mr Boatman & 2 others squatting on the muddy riverbank to count & bundle into brick-like stacks the money they had collected...as is the usual case in rural areas (where daily wage is <10,000kip), passengers had paid in small denominations of 1000kip, 2000kip & 5000kip notes.
Leaving Hat Sa with less than sufficient fuel for the journey...