This is a map of the Mekong River watershed. I, Pfly, made it, based on USGS data. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cambodia is one of the gems of southeast Asia, a country that many westerners have not seen. A really enchanting and magical way of exploring its beauty is by boat, especially if you decide to travel along the iconic Mekong River.
Boat travel is a wonderful way of taking in new sights and sounds in unfamiliar locations across the world. There is something truly magical about floating along, feeling the pull of current and tide underneath a vessel as you head into the unknown along a foreign watercourse. One of the world’s top destinations when it comes to this kind of boating holiday is, perhaps surprisingly, Cambodia. The Mekong River affords an intimate experience with southeast Asia by water.
Aquatic Asian Adventures.
The range of things that you can see and experience from a boat along the Mekong River is quite amazing. You can begin your journey on the waterfront at Phnom Penh, getting a taste for the lifestyle and culture of Cambodia as you do so. As your journey progresses, you can stop off at the Areyksat commune or a similar location and watch as the monks chant in preparation for their lunch. These quintessential images from southeast Asia are mesmerizing.
A woman on a boat on the Mekong River. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While this type of sailing holiday is not the same as a bareboat yacht charter out on the wilds of the open ocean, there is still plenty to keep your senses stimulated and your mind busy. Local villages dot the banks of the river and you can stop off for a visit and see the traditional weaving for which southeast Asia is renowned. Many villages are home to communities that revolve around making cotton and silk kromars and mats and seeing how the process is conducted is a very interesting way to spend an afternoon.
Fish, from Water to Plate.
Another fascinating sight to be seen along the Mekong is the number of fish farms, which exist under the houses in the floating villages that are unique to southeast Asia. As well as the domestic fish in the farms, there is also plenty of wild water life to encounter and you can have a go at finding your own dinner with a rod and reel.
Once you have secured some excellent fish to cook, you can wash it down with some rice wine, much of which is manufactured locally. The next day, if it is during the dry season, you can burn off some calories with a river swim. At wetter times of year, a stroll along the sandy banks is almost as good. Vegetable gardens and orchards of papaya, mango and banana also dot the banks, adding to the range of food available as well as to the appeal of the landscape.
All in all, a boat is a great vehicle to use to explore this enticing and mysterious country, where so much of life revolves around the Mekong River. Book a trip and get ready for some marvellous boating adventures.
Simon Coyle is originally from the Northumberland coast of England, but he has been sailing across most of the world, in one form or another, over the last two decades or so. As well as being a competitive yachtsman, he also operates bareboat yacht charter for tourists and writes about sailing and travel matters for a wide range of blogs and websites.