The joy of the Mekong

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At Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang we arranged to meet a boatman. Through the palm trees and down the riverbank, we could see the muddy Mekong over branches and stones. We arranged a boat trip to the famous Pak Ou Caves. A trip down the Mekong River on a longtail boat will glide past limestone cliffs and terrace farms, fisherman wading with nets, and boats streaming from China laden with motorcycles. We traveled about 25 kilometers up the river as it snaked through vine covered hills. A swirling Mekong river. The brown color indicates the destructive land use systems on its watersheds. Women washed clothes along the banks. Naked boys swam and splashed. We passed houseboats, speed boats and slow meandering boats. The biodiversity of the Mekong mountains is one of the richest in the world. More than 1200 species of fish have been identified and there could be possibly as many as 1700. Fishing is a very important part of the economic activities in the area and a vital source of protein in the local diet. Even the rare species of freshwater dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin can be seen at the Lower Mekong. Irrawaddy dolphins have been documented participating in cooperative fishing with humans using cast nets by driving the fish towards these fisherman in response to acoustic signals from them.

Photo taken during our longtail boat trip 25km to the Pak Ou Caves down the Mekong River. The boy is jumping from a tree into the Mekong while our boat was passing by. I took multiple shots to capture his jump.

Luang Prabang ligt op een heuvel die wordt omarmd door de Mekong en zijn zijrivier Nam Khan. De beroemde Pak Ou caves liggen een kleine 25 kilometer buiten de stad, bereikbaar per boot over de Mekong. De tocht hier naartoe is geweldig want de omgeving is werkelijk adembenemend. Na twee uur varen kom je uiteindelijk aan bij deze grot waar duizenden pelgrims sinds de 16e eeuw Boeddha- beelden hebben neergezet. In totaal vind je er nu zo’n 2500. Onderweg passeren we typische Laos-dorpjes, nauwelijks zichtbaar door de rijke begroeiing. We stoppen onderweg bij Ban Xanghai, het dorp dat bekend staat om zijn rijstwhisky ;-) De biodiversiteit van de Mekong bergen is één van rijkst aan de wereld. Meer dan 1200 soorten vis zijn geïdentificeerde en misschien nog wel meer. De visserij is economisch zeer belangrijk en een essentiële bron van proteïne in het lokale dieet. In het lage gedeelte bij de Mekong-delta komen zelfs nog de bezondere irrawaddydolfijnen voor. In sommige gebieden werken de twee samen: de dolfijnen drijven vissen de netten van de vissers in, en de vissers belonen de dolfijnen met een klein deel van de vangst. In deze gebieden worden deze dieren vereerd.

Akbar Simonse, Gregor Samsa, and 310 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. Nomadic Vision Photography 65 months ago | reply

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  2. brijammin [deleted] 65 months ago | reply

    Don't ever be afraid to go for it! If only I could remember that innocence in my daily life :)

  3. a.caccuri 64 months ago | reply

    Beautiful capture! ! !
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  4. Captn_Jack 64 months ago | reply

    Quite an amazing playground :)

  5. Milikà 64 months ago | reply

    Magnifique !!

  6. believer9 63 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Life Is Good!!!( Admin Invite Only) Comment and Fave 2, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

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  7. loweryjes 61 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called I Love Camping and Hiking!, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    pure fun!

  8. sjaradona 60 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called All in the air, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  9. Yaninin 58 months ago | reply

    This photo is ... WOW. Amazing.

  10. Emotioned.com 50 months ago | reply

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  11. saifrany 49 months ago | reply

    Very nice, Wow

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    Your image for our magazine. Contact me for more info.

  13. Dulce Nassif 12 months ago | reply


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    Good Perspective and beautiful capture! ! !
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