Mekong River Jungle Cruise from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc

Photos! Go back through the last few posts to see more!

A driver dropped us and two other couples off near the ferry terminal at a private home. The old man living there ushered us around the house to a waiting boat. Two benches ran along the length of the covered wooden boat and, with only six passengers, there was plenty of room to stretch out.

We got to peek into the backyards of people living along the river, but it was a long, slow ride, and the rocking left me rather drowsy.

When we arrived at the border of Vietnam, we changed to a smaller boat with a patio chair for each of us. The boat turned off the Mekong and passed down a small tributary.

It felt like Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise, only with real animals (water buffalo and ducks) and live locals (mostly happy children swimming). Colin and I provided the witty commentary.

Water buffalo!

Then Colin pointed out narrow docks leading to tiny particle board cubicles–outhouses with a river view. Immediately after, we saw a man dip a pail into the water to rinse his lunch dishes. Colin and I exchanged a horrified look: watching the kids wipe the water from their eyes and mouths when they popped up to say hello was disconcerting, but this is the stuff disease is made from!

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