The Great Mekong River has a sound of it’s own- sagacious and feeble at the same time. Slowly drifting from Tibet to Southern China through the valleys and mountains of Laos, Burma and Thailand, traveling patiently until it reaches her destination- Mother Ocean, the source of it all. A four thousand one hundred eighty kilometers journey passing by 5 territories. That is like 60 hours of driving non-stop, really non-stop. As quiet as it seemed, it has killed the most compared to all the Great Rivers of the World, mostly of flooding caused by overflow and siltation. Is this another reason to believe the warming of the globe?
Nature is an unforgiving beast, beautiful in her rawness… Treacherous. Yellow and white wild flowers grow on her banks. For some weird reason, people insisted on living with her through the passage of time, thriving and making a living through transport, fishing and tourism.
The sound of the long flat boats was the Great Mekong’s companion. Watching the sun ascend from the Laos side and fall on the Cambodian west. Her color? Like a watered-down Milo-dinosaur you buy at Petaling Street in downtown Kuala Lumpur, this immense river is home to the Irrawaddy dolphins. One of the magics or nature, since these dolphins are usually oceanic and not riverine. They are pink and cute you should Google them and check out. This vast water space has at least 4,000 islands owned by Laos PDR and people live in some of these islands. About 20 years ago, the locals started to build bungalows and hang hammocks for backpackers who are tired of partying in Thailand and temple-hopping Cambodia. They charge a small amount starting at 30,000Kip.
I am here now lounging in my hammock trying to figure out how to write a poem or a song to the Great Mekong. Maybe I just go back to sleep? Or better yet pop my half-liter cold Nakhong while the clement wind from the south blow gently on my porch. The sun is screaming and time stopped.
(Nakhong is Laos’ local beer like Philippines’ San Miguel or Thailand’s Chang. In my opinion, better tasting than Beerlao which they say the best tasting beer in Asia.)
Do you want want to know the real sound of the Great Mekong? It is the long flat boat with a home-made steel mill on the water powered by the knocked-off motorbike engines from China running about 30kph or maybe less. Want to experience that? Go to Laos and visit the Great Mekong.
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This post is part of my #100DaysSEA trip where I backpacked around Southeast Asia for 100 Days last 2015. You can read my snippets and reflections during the trip when you follow me on Instagram: @journeyingjames / https://www.instagram.com/journeyingjames or search for #100DaysSEA. Thanks alot for your support dear reader and friend! 🙂