Rolling on the Mekong

Cruising the Mekong River
Cruising the Mekong River

One of the things I most looked forward to on this adventure to southeast Asia was cruising the Mekong River.  I had no expectations, just curiosity and a desire to take it all in.

Mekong RiverThe Mekong is a long wandering highway originating in China and passing through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.  What I experienced was from Phnom Pehn to the outskirts of Saigon, and each part of the journey opened my eyes and challenged me to think hard about life and appreciate how lucky I am.

Mekong RiverOn the water, it appears that any vessel that floats is acceptable.  Some are for commercial transport, some for ferries, some for fishing.

Mekong RiverAlong the banks of the Mekong are developing industrial complexes, fish farms and fields of green where much of the work is done by hand.

Mekong RiverPopulation on this part of the river is fairly dense, and houses are built of whatever materials one can find.  Some are on stilts, others seem to be floating platforms.  The people are poor, but, surprisingly, each house appeared to have a TV antenna.  Asked why, a guide said that most of the people are illiterate, so they use their ears in place of reading.

Mekong RiverOne of the things that continued to surprise me was how hard women worked whether it was on the ground or in the water.  It is no wonder they are so small!

Mekong RiverAlways there are markets, some floating, some ashore.  In both cases, the trade is brisk and there is everything from fruits and vegetables to seafood to rats to chicken heads and feet.  I was hoping some of these items were not going to appear on my plate.

Mekong RiverWhen night fell, all these scenes were blotted out and good food and fun on the boat took over.  Aussie and British companions of the Traveling Sisterhood proved to be very good company, and we all enjoyed sharing our views of the day’s experience.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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16 thoughts on “Rolling on the Mekong

  1. Linda, I have enjoyed having you as a tour guide…what an amazing journey. Thank you for these posts.

    1. It has been an amazing journey and I’m glad to know you’ve traveled along. I’ll get back to tables soon.

  2. A Garden of Threads March 17, 2013 — 7:00 pm

    Amazing tour, thank you for sharing the photos.

    1. I am so glad to have you travel along.

  3. Linda, thank you for sharing your trip. It does show me how blessed I am to live in a country with such abundance, safe food and clean water and ample space. To receive an education is such a blessing.

    I will be glad when you are safe and sound back home. Just couldn’t help but say that. I hope the rats, chicken heads and feet didn’t appear on your plate. Shows, I have not known true hunger.

    1. I’m told rats taste a lot like chicken, but that doesn’t make me want to try it. As for education, it is a blessing because it makes people harder to control.

  4. Linda.. what am I going to enjoy reading when your trip journal is over?.. you’ll have to start at the beginning again please! Thanks for this update.. yet again.. a wonderful account of your life on board the Pandaw Mekong Cruise.. just superb! Very sensitively and beautifully put together.. x

    1. Jean, you’ll have to keep reading to see if anything else interesting happens in my life!

  5. What an amazing adventure you are on and you are correct what riches we posses and do not appreciate.

    1. Sometimes we have to be reminded how lucky we are even when all is not as we wish.

  6. Wow, this is a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your trip! It is amazing place with these hard working people. Awesome photos and mosaics.

    1. …and thank you for sharing it with me.

  7. What a wonderful and informative post. I am always drawn to information about this region, as so many of my peers had a tour of duty in Vietnam in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I appreciate having new images replace the old ones I carry from films of the war. In particular I will carry the image of the children in the next to the last mosaic. They look so happy.

    1. Part of the reason I wanted to spend time on the Mekong was the hope to refresh images. My impressions are of a different nature now. Thanks for your comment.

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