Most visitors to Southeast Asia will marvel at the region's beautiful white sandy beaches or the tropical rain forests, the misty mountains or the glittering capital cities. But few have experienced the tranquil yet exhilarating adventure of floating down the Mekong River in a traditional river boat taking in all the varying surroundings of the mountainous interior.
The experience is offered by tour operators such as Mekong Cruises, who take passengers to towns such as Luang Prabang and Lakse, where travellers can choose between different routes and activities while taking in the beautiful surroundings. Some tours offer an undisturbed cruise where passengers can just lean back and take in the natural wonders passing by and observe the riverside communities from a distance, while others offer more active tours giving passengers the opportunity to make stops and try activities along the way.
Some boats stop off at small villages along the river where passengers can experience for themselves how the people live day to day with the river as a neighbour, offering them not only a means of transportation but also an essential source of food and water.
People in the villages along the Mekong River in Laos live relatively simple yet enriching lives by providing for themselves with subsistence farming or by making various handicrafts to sell to passing tourists or at the local market. They welcome visitors into their communities and even invite foreigners to join in their rituals and festivals, which are an important part of local culture.
The Mekong River is one of the most biodiverse locations in the world, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.The commercial value of the river is incalculable, with more than two million tonnes of fish landed every year. Only the Amazon manages a higher level of biodiversity than the Mekong River, which is home to more than 20,000 plant species, 850 fish species and 430 mammals, some of which are rare and nearly extinct. With this sense of urgency, there is no better time to cruise the Mekong than now.
Original source http://www.vatphou.com/mekong_river_trips.html
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