The Two Colors River

November was a bit cold in Paksan, I often wondered what it would look like if it were to snow in Laos, so, let it snow.

I stayed with my Aunt whilst visiting Paksan, it is not a tourist town, so most of us might not have heard of the name before.  As for those that have seen the movie, “Sabaidee Luang Prabang”, and if I were to tell you that it’s the town that Sorn (Ananda) visits his grandparents, then you might know where I’m talking about.

The two colors river

What I find fascinating is the two colors river where Nam Xan and Mekong River meet.  I’ve never seen such a sight, I asked my Aunt as to why it’s like that, and she said,  “It’s like people, if they’re dishonest, it shows.  Nam Xan is very clear, as in a person that is honest, and the Mekong River stays muddy most of the time.”  So I’ve heard, kind of surprised me that she made that comparison, I just didn’t expect that to come from her.

The two colors river

The two colors river

The two colors river

And the local fisherman chooses to make a living at the Nam Xan side, good for him.


  1. The Mekong probably have more sediment. Maybe what at the bottom of it that created to color. It could be there are rotten roots and other junks washed down from up the river.Also don’t forget the mud. The bottom of the mekong is full of dirt so the bottom is soft creating muddy color on the surface. Unlike the other river which is probably have mostly rock. So it is cold in Parksun. You know I saw a picture of Las Vegas cover with snow. Strange things happen. So let it snow! I love snow.:)

  2. ascandaloussin, lady0fdarkness, Dallas this is not the only place that has 2 colors river, any small river that meets the Mekong River looks like this. I think the small river that meets the Mekong River is more calm and still river and therefore clearer water.

    According to Wikipedia,

    the Mekong River is one of the world’s major rivers. It is the 12th-longest river in the world, and 7th longest in Asia, from the Tibetan Plateau it runs through China’s Yunnan province, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    So you can imagine that it flows more heavily than a small river, and drains a lot more water on a daily basis. From talking to the locals, they said that the Mekong River from Savannakhet towards Northern part of Laos stays muddy all year round, but during the rainy season, the Mekong River from Savannakhet towards the Southern part of Laos would be clear.

    As long as I could remember, the Mekong River has always been the life vein of Laos, it sustains our livelihoods in which Lao people use this river as drinking water, as bath water, as a source of our food as we often said, “In the water there is fish, and in the rice paddy there is rice,” and the river is used as everything else that we can possibly need water for, sadly it’s very muddy, but when I was little I thought it was a lot clearer than this but my memory had been very fuzzy, or it might be accurate because I’m from the Southern part of Laos, Pakse, so the Mekong River might be clear during that time.

    Dallas, sometimes it’s nice to be able to see something that you like, and in this case snow falling in Laos, without affecting the livelihood of the people that live there. So, it’s snow in Laos from where I am. 🙂

    • eerenoon, I can see now that there are many Mae Nam Song Si in Thailand and Laos, I visited Ubon last year, but have not visited Mae Nam Song Si in Khong Chian, must be very pretty also.

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