It can be well said that Mekong River is Fabulous as “The Road to Mandalay” it is a major trade route, a superb tourist destination and an important resource for both flora and fauna. Taking a river boat ride/canoeing to Mandalay on the Mekong is a fascinating and thoroughly rewarding experience. It is one of those fabulous journeys where getting there is equally as important as the final destination.
This is an amazing river, one of the truly great rivers of the world. From its source in the Himalayas of China it travels two thousand seven hundred miles through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before making its exit into the Eastern Sea to the south of Ho Chi Minh City. It brings life and employment to millions, supports a myriad of animals and fish and brings nutrient rich silt to fertilize some of the finest rice growing areas in the world.
The scenery as you cruise north towards Mandalay is stunning. The large river boats slip effortlessly through stunning countryside. Farmers tend their crops and children run along the river banks waving excitedly as you glide past. At its widest, the river is an awesome waterway, carrying millions of gallons of water every minute through Southeast Asia. Local fishermen cast their nets and take enough to sustain their families without damaging this finely balanced eco system.
One creature that brings in the crowds is the fabulous and severely endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin. These gentle animals were so endangered a few years ago that it was thought to be a lost cause. However strict conservation methods and help and understanding from local communities are seeing them fight back. Whilst their numbers are still worrying small, it is thought that their survival is now safe. They are incredibly intelligent animals and actually assist the local fishermen in catching fish. A symbiotic relationship has developed over centuries. The dolphins come to the fishing boats and circle the fish driving them into the nets. When the fishermen have caught the amount they require they slap the oars against the side of the boats and the dolphins come to take their reward for helping. When the dolphins have eaten enough, they rise out of the water a spit streams of water into the air as a way of saying goodbye. It is an astonishing sight to behold.
Approaching Mandalay on the river is a life changing event. The scenery is superb; the late evening sun going down over the river is simply beautiful. As the countryside fades and the temple spires appear it is a very moving experience. This is a sight that has greeted travelers for one hundred and fifty and mainly unchanged. One can sense the feeling of cultural history. The Burmese people are so rightly proud of their cultural heritage and Mandalay in particular.If you ever get the chance to visit Mandalay, take it. But try your hardest to come by boat; it is the most rewarding experience and one that you will never forget. After taking Myanmar tour to Mandalay, you will go back to enjoy the Myanmar tours once again. You will be very proud of this Southeast Asia discovery and wants to share it with everybody.