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Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam gave me view of what life looked like to people living on boats and on stilt houses. There’s so much activities there and people didn’t seem to mind the deep and strong current of the yellow river that passes through six countries: China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Ours was not a luxury cruise. Sixteen of us, foreign tourists, seated on a rattan chair on both sides of the motorized. The cruise lasted 5 hours, stopping along river banks where waiting vendors peddled their products to excited tourists. And because the tour included some walks under the blistering sun, the cone-shaped hats, which Vietnam is famed for, were the most bought item of the day.

Let me start relieving the cruise experience by Mekong River in Vietnam.

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM

This is our boat.

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Some of these boats are for cruising and some are used for trading.  

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Before we left, some farm produce were loaded into the back of our transport. 

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

When we started sailing, a looming rain was threatening us from a distance. 

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam

Then suddenly, the dark clouds were gone, leaving us a blue sky. 

Mekong River in Vietnam

Mekong River in Vietnam

We overtook some boats that are as old as the ancient temples in Asia. Many are in bad condition, such as this one. 

Mekong River in Vietnam

Mekong River in Vietnam

Farm produce like vegetables and fruits are transported via boats because they’re faster and cheaper. 

Mekong River in Vietnam

Mekong River in Vietnam

Sometimes, trading and buying happens in the middle of Mekong River. 

Mekong River in Vietnam

Mekong River in Vietnam

Most families living on the river banks have their own banca (small boat). 

Mekong River in Vietnam

Mekong River in Vietnam

When their children are at school, many women operate a boat like this for extra income. They’re usually transporting passengers in short distances, from one river bank to another. 

Mekong River in Vietnam

Mekong River in Vietnam

These houses on stilts are in dangers. Most of them don’t have a toilet, so they just squat somewhere and let the river take in their shit. 

River Mekong in Vietnam

River Mekong in Vietnam

The scenes are sometimes breathtaking.

River Mekong in Vietnam

River Mekong in Vietnam

And sometimes depressing. 

River Mekong in Vietnam

River Mekong in Vietnam

School girls we saw wear a uniform like this. They are covered from head to toe.

School girls in Vietnam

School girls in Vietnam

Even the oldies. Why? Simply because they’re afraid to be dark-skinned! 

River Mekong in Vietnam

River Mekong in Vietnam

The tour brought us to a ginseng factory where the men in our group drank it with much gusto while their wives were grossed out. Me? Nope. I didn’t try it. I did it before but argh, it’s disgusting I almost puked! They also brought us to a handicraft factory where women carved out monkey busts out of coconut husks.We were also led into a little forest where diverse flora and fauna were well taken cared off, like it’s a botanical garden sans high fences and rooftops that are typical in cities’ arboretums.

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Note: I was in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City back in September 2008. Back then, my camera was a crappy one. 🙂 

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GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!

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2 Responses to “Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam”

  1. Christie K.
    September 2, 2014 at 12:24 AM #

    I think, we took the same tour at different times/years/ 🙂
    Not just Vietnam but I think Asians are really afraid of the sun, that’s why they don’t do sunbathing.

    • TheSojourner
      September 2, 2014 at 1:23 AM #

      I agree with you about Asians wanting to be white. 🙂

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