The Mekong is a huge river. I mean huge. Think of something big then maybe double it or triple it or whatever (you can see where I am going with this).
Any way like I said its bloody huge and traveling about southeast Asia your going to bump into the thing. I mean it goes from Tibet through China’s Yunnan province, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. So I booked a trip to see it at the very bottom in southern Vietnam. I’m sure I will bump into again on my travels.
Pick up was 8.30 from my digs which actually turned out to be someone just turning up on a moped, who me and a few other guests had to follow to get to our real pick up. This happens a lot in Asia. Your taken by bus to the boat pickup point where we all joined our boat and sat on our rickety wicker chairs and then we were off. After about an hour or so travel we came to our stop a traditional village (which I could not really see for the trees but I’ll take their word for it), and example of bee keeping and the delicious honey ( I briefly saw him putting back a rack of bees and must off missed the brief demonstration due to a back log of chinese(?) getting of the boat) after which we was give a cup of some sort of weak local tea sweetened with honey which was quite nice. Then we had jars of honey and royal jelly shoved in our faces all for sale. Royal jelly is quite amazing if you believe the pamphlet they handed out. As well as curing skin condition and giving me glossy hair it will also give me an erection like an elephant while also promoting sleep. Very useful if you in the top bunk at a dorm and don’t want to risk rolling out of bed.
After this two Boa’s are dragged out of their cage where they were sleeping peacefully and draped over peoples shoulders. I did the touristy thing and stood in line for my go. I don’t know why but snakes fascinate me they always have.
Next was a walk down the island to a seating area where we were given lunch which I must say was surprisingly good. However no European utensils only chopsticks. I don’t know about you but if I am ever thrown in the arena with lions my weapon of choice would be chopsticks. I am not much of a fighter but give me a couple of short blunt pieces of wood and I am a danger to everyone around me. While everyone is eagerly flicking food down there gullet with mechanical like precision I am running the risk of starving to death surrounded by food. Luckily the other guests left me some so eventually I did get fed.
Next followed local music played by local musicians and songs sung by local people. A magic moment only destroyed when for no apparent reason they started singing If your happy and you know it clap your hands .
Next was what the highlight for me, zooming down narrow channels in a local canoe being paddled by two locals. Traffic was quite busy but they all seemed to know each other and friendly banter was exchanged as we passed and bumped each other. We were given the traditional coolie hats to wear and we needed them as the sun was ferocious.
Then all too soon the journey ended and we were back on the boat an headed to our next stop, a factory where rice candy is made and wrapped all by hand. Free samples were handed out and very tasty it was too. Then back on the boat and back to our bus for the journey back to Ho Chi Minh.
Goodbye Mekong. I am sure our paths will cross again.