An Adventure Up the Mekong River, Southern Vietnam

Mekong River is the longest river in Southeast Asia. By the time it reaches Vietnam, the Mekong River has already covered more than four thousand kilometres from its source high on the Tibetan Plateau; en route it traverses southern China, skirts Burma (Myanmar), then hugs the Laos–Thailand border before cutting down through Cambodia and into Vietnam – a journey that ranks it as Asia’s third-longest river, after the Yangtse and Yellow rivers.

Three days full of adventures with Uyen & Tu, upstreaming along the river in a sampan (Vietnamese narrow boat) and to visit the local floating markets, we saw so much and experience so much. People have been living on the trans-boundary Mekong River for roughly 4,000 years. Today, the lands are home to some 300 million people and over 100 ethnic groups, of which 60 million procure their livelihoods from farming, fishing and tourism along the river. 

That's why the Mekong River is full of life no matter what time you visit. During our visit in November (wet season) flooding is guaranteed meaning boats are used for all purposes for the local people. The high flood waters bring plenty of fresh seafood, a yummy delight to the taste buds and a haven season for fishermen on the Mekong. The high waters replenish the soils making them high in minerals and fertile - the lifeblood of the rice and fruit crops grown in the delta. 

....

"I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too. It widens and deepens as it rubs and scours, gnaws and kneads, eats and bores its way through the land.
Even the greatest rivers - the Mekong and alike, they all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers.

Are people like that? I wondered. Am I like that?

Do I change like a river, widening and deepening, eddying back on myself sometimes, bursting my banks sometimes when there’s too much water, too much life in me, and sometimes dried up from lack of rain? Will the I that is me grow and widen and deepen? Or will I stagnate and become an arid riverbed? Will I allow people to dam me up and confine me to wall so that I flow only where they want? Will I allow them to turn me into a canal to use for they own purposes? Or will I make sure I flow freely, coursing my way through the land and ploughing a valley of my own?”

Our story has a lot of struggling moments. As two young adults living with each other, we struggled with our life choices. How the choices affect each other as well as our personal goals. There were some big decisions to be made when we weren't clear what we wanted. But we learned to listen, to compromise, to struggle together, and to adapt. He walked me through dark times when I even thought of finishing my life.

Together with him, I took a shower, washed off the day. I drunk a glass of water. Made the room dark. Lay down and closed my eyes. Noticed the silence. Noticed my heart. Still beating. Still fighting. I thought, " You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. You’re doing just fine."

You stay safe, You love. You survive. You laugh and cry and struggle and sometimes you fail and sometimes you succeed. You Push. As long as he is right here with me.

With him, life is more than surviving. With him, I don't have to be someone that I am not. With him, I learn that I don't have to change myself for someone."

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Some Other Elopement Stories


Hey friends! We're Tu & Tara, a wedding photographer & videographer duo. While splitting our time between Europe / Asia, we travel all over the world (more than 40 countries) capturing adventure elopement and intimate destination wedding. We love art, classic cinema, reading great fictions, good food, outdoor activities and seeking adventure in the wilderness. Join and let us tell your epic story in your own way through photographs and film, but first and foremost have fun while doing it!


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