The river intrigues us. The Thais refer to it as “mother of all rivers”. The route it follows is fascinating in itself. The river’s source is right in the heart of the Himalayas , in the Tibetan mountains. It then snakes through wild Burmese and Laotian hills before widening out in Cambodia and flowing out into the China Sea in Vietnam. A long journey of 4700 km which makes the Mekong one of the biggest rivers in the world.
A little aquatic detour seems to be in order! So with the challenge on the table, we set off for northern Laos, with our 3 Itiwit X500 inflatable kayaks on our backs, to travel down the river from the village of Houay Xay to the town of Luang Prabang. Over this 300 km stretch, the Mekong is wild and flows through mountains and the Laotian jungle. There are just a few small fishing villages along the way, subsisting peacefully far away from the hustle and bustle of the towns . We set off the meet the river, curious to discover this little corner of Laotian paradise.
Navigating on a river is like riding a bike: it is the same in essence and this mode of transport perfectly reflects the spirit of our journey, which is all about soft mobility. Travelling around using only the strength in your legs on a bike or in your arms on a kayak means travelling slowly, on a human level and taking the time to connect with the space around you. In addition to avoiding further damage to our beautiful planet, this way of travelling makes it easier to come into contact with local populations. Kayaks were a good way of melting into the background on this trip because the Laotians travel primarily in dugout canoes on the river. In terms of the soft mobility theme, the Itiwit Strenfit x500 kayaks won us over immediately! Their compact storage size is really impressive and means you can carry them on your back to get to the river on foot. The next stage would be to develop a kayak that could be transported by bike in order to access the river by bike! (We would be the first customers)~
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