Experiencing the Mekong river by boat is an unforgettable adventure. The river travels through remote mountainous scenery, tropical forests, exotic waterfalls and green rice fields delivering a captivating backdrop to a perfect holiday in Southeast Asia. Migrating birds and the tranquil flow of the river have a soothing effect and travellers can lean back and relax while nature flows by.
The waters of the Mekong river have their source in South China and flow through various Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand feeding millions of mouths on the way. The river is the life-giver of the region's huge rice production and the fish in it the primary source of protein for many living these countries. The river banks provide habitat to a wide range of animal life from birds to insects, small mammals and reptiles. The continuous flow of the river will take travellers through small lakes or faster stretches of narrow river. Relaxing on the deck while watching the river and nature glide by will relax even the most tense visitor. Attentive staff will make sure your drink glass is full and serve wonderful cuisine made from fresh local produce.
The nature along the Mekong river changes all the time. Huge limestone rocks stretch from the surface of the water several metres up in the sky with trees growing from their sides. Vegetation comes in many forms and shapes from dense mangrove forest to lighter bamboo and palm trees or beautiful tropical flowers. The Mekong river is host to more than 1,500 species of fish, including the Mekong giant catfish, which is the largest freshwater fish in the world, and also the endangered Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin. Besides tigers and elephants, the Mekong’s forests sustain an extraordinary range of plants and birds, along with endemic and extremely rare species such as douc langur and the saola.
Villagers along the river banks live as they have for centuries - off the land and the products of the river. They rely on the river for transportation, irrigation, water for cooking and of course food. Known for their outstanding hospitality, they often invite people to their homes and share their knowledge of the nature surrounding the river, which is unparalleled and offers a great opportunity for visitors to gain unique first hand knowledge of life along the river banks. The Lao people live with dignity and respect for nature, only taking what they need. Their pragmatic approach to life stands in stark contrast to the modern way of life in many other cultures and definitely offers food for thought.
Original source http://www.vatphou.com/slow_boat_mekong.html
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