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After a couple of cold, wet nights in Phongsali, we caught a truck back to Hat Sa and hired a boat downriver. Muang Khoua was a nice little town sitting at the convergence of the Nam Ou and Nam Phak rivers; the houses and shops seen next to the river here are mainly selling supplies for truckers that pass through town. There is no bridge across the river at this point, so all day a barge, hauled by a tugboat and a gaggle of four or so longboats, ferry trucks across the river. The whole process takes nearly half an hour per truck!