Even if it is "only" the fourth river of Southeast Asia, it is without doubt the most mythical.
The winding courseof the Mekong River, which is sometimes agitated and sometimes benevolent, is dotted with sites and cities which have forged their history around the river. The river drops 4,500 m during its course through China - little wonder that its hydrological potential is immense! It is this energy which has earned it the nickname of "the tumultuous river" (Lancang Jiang) in the province of Yunnan.
Among the many challenges facing the Mekong today, the main ones are those related to the sometimes excessively brutal development of tourism at some sites, the threat caused by dams and hydroelectric projects or even to the need for a more sustainable management of the resources of the river.
I found the Mekong River both peaceful and relaxing. The best was a cruise of several days during which I combined the Tonle Sap lake and the Mekong River: the landscapes are magnificent and you can admire the scenes of daily life in Cambodia, because many people live on the river banks.
During a cruise on the Mekong, I stopped in various fishermen's villages and floating villages, such as Kampong Chhnang, the largest floating village of Cambodia. Travel on the Mekong offers you a journey that will be full of new encounters and discoveries.
Near Phnom Penh, I visited the island of Koh Dach, known as the island of silk, situated on the Mekong. It is an island where the inhabitants live mainly from fishing and weaving.
The Mekong is legendary and every visitor travelling around south-east Asia is interested in it. Actually, you can find it everywhere because it crosses several countries, such as China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
In Laos I really enjoyed going from the Thai border to Luang Prabang, travelling slowly at the water's pace and getting a taste for the peace and quiet of Laos.
The Mekong wasn't just a river trip, it was a real voyage. I loved the mountainous countryside along the banks, an endless succession of steep chalk cliffs, and the coming and goings of the pirogues and little fishing boats.
The Mekong is a legendary river. It's impossible to not get excited at the sound of its name. It sums up childhood dreams of adventure and magic. And when we finally saw it, we weren't disappointed. The river is huge and, as you'll be told, impossible to fully explore unless you have months ahead of you. But even if you only see a bit, you'll be left with unforgettable memories. A child leading cattle to the other side, a colourful patchwork of clothes drying on the banks, villages perched above the waters... There are some amazing sights along the Mekong.
You feel like you're at the world's end. During my trip to Laos, I toured the Golden Triangle near the Thai border and spent two days on the Mekong travelling to the first Laotian village. Comfort was not the order of the day, but who cares - the sense of freedom was unparalleled. The photos speak for themselves.