To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the Mekong River is big. Really Big. When so much water runs through six countries before spilling into the web of the Mekong Delta, figures becoming meaningless.
Wherever you choose to join the river, it abounds with life: villages to towns to larger cities, isolated houses, cluster of fishermen. Even those stretches where the jungle tumbles down to the water's edge are filled with the drumming of dragonflies and the splash of leaping fish.
The rain, when it comes, is sudden and heavy. At times it can be difficult to see more than a few feet ahead. But then it goes, and the world around me was soon steaming in the lazy heat.
For many, the river is little more than another road. Small boats transport people across this waterway using only the power of oars; floating markets sell all things imaginable. Other boats bring food and drinks to those selling all day at these markets. Many craft sail perilously close to the Plimsoll line.
The petrol stations are for boats, not cars. Boats are in all manner of sizes and condition, but all have eyes painted on their prow. A boat must always be able to see its way home safely.
Some craft have passed their use-by date, but retain an aesthetic charm all their own. Wherever you find yourself on the Mekong (preferably above the waterline!) there lies a magical beauty all around.
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