Saturday, April 13, 2013

Along the Mighty Mekong

Gathering in the rice harvest on the west bank
In October 2011 I spent a few days along the Mekong River. Starting out in Kratie, a visit to the west bank brought me into close contact with lots of locals going about their daily business, which was great fun, aided in no small measure by my guide Sithy. Later in my trip, I joined Theara in a two-man kayak through the Ramsar Wetlands, starting out at Ou Savy. It really is an area of outstanding beauty and remarkable landscapes. The water levels were quite high and the flooded forests were an absolute joy. It must look dramatically different when the dry season kicks in. Here's a few pictures to give you a feel for the trip. 
This villager was working on someone else's plot

Village children

Two friends with their home-made boat

Sithy with a group of villagers we stopped to chat and have fun with
The start of the Ramsar Wetlands flooded forest

The tree root formations were amazing

The roots are shaped by the flow of the Mekong River

Navigating a safe way through the strong current

More tangled tree roots

This is at high water levels, so imagine what it looks like at low level

This was the final tree before we reached the end of the 25kms of flooded forest

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