Follow the footsteps of an explorer The Following is a historical background of the site of the new ‘Shangri Lao’ classic explorer camp and its surroundings.
The end of the 19th century was a time when the region of Indochina was explored by several expeditions for different reasons. In September 1882 a French man Dr. P. Neis, was requested by the Minister of Public Education of France, to complete a scientific mission to survey the ‘Moi Tribes’ who lived in one of France’s first colonies named ‘Cochinchina.’
On arrival in Singapore, Neis received a letter from the governor of Cochinchina stating that there was a much greater, perhaps politically vital, interest in finding out what was happening in the territories between Luang Phabang and Tonkin due to problems that had erupted between French soldiers and Chinese Haw bandits.
Dr. Neis therefore sailed up the Mekong, leaving on 23 December 1882, from Kratie near Phnom Phen, Cambodia.
Dr. Neis’s journey included a stay of eight months in Luang Phabang. He used this time to explore the area around the town including the Nam Khan River up to the village of Xieng Ngeun, which is located 24 km south. On the 11th October 1883 he left Luang Phabang on a local boat to make his survey of the Nam Khan River, and 2 weeks later reached the ‘Nam Sae’ (Huay Sae Stream).
The ‘Shangri Lao’ Explorer Camp is located just 3 km downstream from Xieng Lom Village, and it is believed that the location of the Camp is the same spot that Dr. P. Neis chose for his own camp in 1883.
Our expeditions from the “Shangri Lao” Explorer Camp to the Nam Khan River, or the ‘Shangri Khot’ camp, follow the same route through the Huay Sae Stream as Dr. P. Neis explored 130 years ago.