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the Degree Confluence Project
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Laos

2.6 km (1.6 miles) NW of Ban Thin Thiang, Viangchan, Laos
Approx. altitude: 159 m (521 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 18°S 77°W

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View south of the confluence #3: View east of the confluence #4: View west of the confluence #5: GPS readout #6: Some friends joining us from the confluence. #7: Reclining Buddah at the Buddah park on the way to the confluence. #8: Reclining Buddah at the Buddah park on the way to the confluence.

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  18°N 103°E (visit #2)  

#1: View north of the confluence

(visited by Peter Jacobs)

05-Mar-2009 -- We set out for this confluence from Vientiane in the morning. On the way there, we stopped at the Freedom Bridge, which connects Thailand and Laos across the Mekong River. It just so happened that this was the first day that the new train was running across the bridge, and we arrived in time to see a train with some very happy Thai passengers pull into the station on the Lao side. They got out of the train, took a few pictures of the brand, spanking new station, and reembarked the train back to Thailand within about 30 minutes.

Then after another stop at the Buddha park, it was off to the confluence, on a dusty road parallel to the Mekong. Seven years after the first visit, the road is still not paved all the way, and in the dry season it is very dusty.

As the previous visitors mentioned, the confluence is located in a rice field a short distance from the road. We encountered a few local people in the paddy as we trudged to the confluence. They seemed a bit perplexed and amused by our presence, but not terribly bothered about our being there. I just wonder how farmers in my own country (United States) would react in a similar situation. We also did not want to trample the rice, so we got as close as possible to the exact confluence without doing so (on a path between rice plantings). The reading on my iPhone's GPS was 17.999940 N 103.000002 E I hope this is taken into consideration when determining if our visit was successful or not.

After the visit it was time to make our way back to Vientiane along the now darkening road amid the cows, dogs, people, tuk-tuk's, trucks, and cars, which all share it. It was indeed rush hour, with people walking their cows home from the fields. We arrived in Vientiane at our hotel hot, sweaty, and covered in dust, but very glad we took the time to make the visit.


 All pictures
#1: View north of the confluence
#2: View south of the confluence
#3: View east of the confluence
#4: View west of the confluence
#5: GPS readout
#6: Some friends joining us from the confluence.
#7: Reclining Buddah at the Buddah park on the way to the confluence.
#8: Reclining Buddah at the Buddah park on the way to the confluence.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
About 775 m from the bank of the Maè Nam Khong (Mekong) River, which is here forming the border to Thailand.