The Mekong river is one of the worlds largest waterways.
From its sources in the Lasagongma Spring in the plateaus of Tibet and flows about 4,350 km through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam before it splits into a vast delta beginning in Cambodia and ending in the South China Sea.
The Vietnamese call the Mekong the Song Cuu Long, meaning River of the Nine Dragons, since it divides into nine smaller waterways at the Mekong Delta. However, if you decide to go and count the dragons you will probably only find seven since one has silted up and one is so small it is barely noticeable.
The Mekong Delta is one of the most densely populated areas in the country. The delta starts about 30 miles south of Saigon and covers 23,000 square miles of southernmost Vietnam. Flat, green, lush, it includes some of the country’s most fertile land and its farmers produce rice, sugar cane, oranges, jackfruit and seafood.
The evil eye of the boats stare at us through the morning mist, giving out a signal to to all spirits that they shall be opposed.
Humidity drapes over us like a blanket, and whenever our boat slows, insects swarm us for our salt. Along the shoreline fishermen haul their nets through the current.
The morning fog blurs the jungles edges, as though we are sailing through an impressionist painting.
The Mekong is the main trade route that unites these seven nations in a round the clock whirlwind of commerce that words are hard put to define. Think of the world’s largest open-air market and social gathering that never stops to catch its breath.
There are many different ways to travel – by air, by train, by boat, by car or on foot. You can travel alone or with a companion, in a group or with children. You can bring a bag, you can carry it all on your back or you can bring a suitcase.
Our way is with companion, and as far away from backpacking, from children, from dolphine clubs as you can possibly get.