Jeanne Henriques: Lounging on a Private Longboat – A Woman’s Extraordinary Photo Journey In Gorgeous Laos

Posted on May 3, 2017


A most special treat this week for all of us . . .

and the warmest of introductions to our guest blogger, Jeanne Henriques – someone I call a very dear friend from afar, writer and photographer extraordinaire. Jeanne not only writes like a dream, but leads and writes about the most extraordinary life I have ever heard of.

Living with a nomadic husband, she leads an expat life – complete with four children, and a dog to kill for ( a dog who has been everywhere). For a few years, she lived in the well-named Chateau Mango in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  . . nut voila!  she has put down her latest roots in a gorgeous high-rise in lovely Hong Kong.  But this woman – with dreams beyond the dreams of most – can be found traveling and writing about it more often than not.

You absolutely must read her own bio far below!

Once you have read her own Collage of Life site and its offshoots, I feel you will be as “hooked” as all of us are. . . as Jeanne “juggles” a life so successfully that we beg for her secrets and take her so readily into our hearts.

Her week in Laos will give you the flavor and life of this very special lady.

                                                               –Joan Larsen


Imagine for a moment, that you are lounging on a private longboat, floating down the Mekong River along the shores of Luang Prabang in Laos. The day is yours, you are there to experience life on the mighty Mekong and have until well after sunset to do so. You are in the capable hands of a knowledgeable guide who is only to happy to share the beautiful countryside that is her home, a place you know little about. You hop off and on the boat happily taking in all the sights around you…cameras at the ready. Your guide looks at you quizzically with each disembarkment, it is an all too familiar look…three cameras? You are grateful she does not ask…because, yes, three cameras are necessary and you do not want to explain why. Time is of the essence. You are even more grateful for your travel partners, husband and son, who will fill you in on anything you might miss as you wander on your own. They know you well…and have the patience of saints.

The hours pass, the sun slowly drops behind the mountains…you are are astonished by the beauty around you.  And then you see it, the gentle the sway of the curtains as they embrace the afternoon sun. That is the moment when you know…it is one you will never forget. It encapsulate the essence of everything that has passed before you. It is your travel moment.

I have a feeling a few like minded souls will know that feeling…when you connect with an experience in an extraordinary way. I could write about this at length but at some point you might start to think I am away with the I will stop and just say…we went to Luang Prabang in Laos last week and we loved it.

On this day we visited the pottery village of “Ban Chan”, the rice paper and weaving village of “Ban Xang Khong” and The Holy Caves of Pak Ou, caves cut into a limestone cliff with thousands of Buddha statues inside. Best of all, we experience a full day of life on the mighty Mekong, an experience not to be missed if you have the good fortune to travel to Luang Prabang. A place I highly recommend! Here are a few of the reasons why….. ( I am hoping the photos speak for themselves).

On and off the Mekong River
Luang Prabang, Laos
October, 2014
In anticipation of the moon….
 A splendid night;
the moon shines with extraordinary brilliancy,
 silvering the surface of this lovely river, 
boarded by high mountains, 
looking like a grand and gloom rampart. 
The chirp of the cricket alone breaks the stillness.
Explorer, Henri Mouhot
travels on the Mekong River
July 15, 1861

I am a seasoned expat…otherwise defined as a long term travelling spouse and mother.  I have four children who call me ‘Mom’ and ‘Mum’.  My travelling partner in this crazy life is Mr. H.  Some of us are American by birth, some are Australian by birth. We call both countries home in addition to other countries where we lived and loved… AustraliaNew ZealandEngland and Vietnam.  We recently moved from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where we spent four years in a mango coloured house under a large travelling palm tree. We called our home Chateau Mango.  I thought the expat story might end there… but life is always full of surprises.  In 2017 we will settle into quite a different lifestyle in Hong Kong.  When time permits we escape to New England to the fresh mountain air at Tahilla Farm in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, USA.  While in both places, we keep track of our children who are living between Australia, Africa and Asia. They keep us very busy. 😉  A crazy life? Yes!  Would we have it any other way? No!

Lila’s afterthought:  Don’t miss Jeanne’s blog, with many more of her stunning photos!  Click any of the photos in this article to link to her blog.  It is a feast for the eyes, well worth a visit (or many)!