I have now traveled further east to Kratie “kra-cheh”. Yesterday, I went on a kayaking tour on the Mekong. We started 27 km up river in a big open area, then paddled down to a little island where we stopped for a swim and a sticky rice snack. Next, we entered the flooded forest where we saw the amazing roots on the trees who live in the river that rises and falls 15km every year. So cool!
Then, we paddled on to the dolphin pools to see the Irrawaddy River dolphins. We got lucky and were able to see several of them. Unfortunately there are only about 80 left on the Mekong and they are quickly going extinct. Based on Bora, the guide, there is still much corruption and the protection efforts are failing 😢.
Bora also explained how the fish in the Mekong are declining because of the huge amount of fishermen. I mentioned it seemed like there was a huge excess of fish in the market and asked what they do with the leftovers. He said they grind it up and make fish cheese. I asked if he liked it, and he replied, “ no, only when we don’t have any food.” 😢.
After a beautiful sunset, I walked up the street to a restaurant that looked good earlier when I had strolled by. I picked a table out on the patio on the street corner, a busy spot across from the market. They immediately came up, set a big light on my table and asked for my order. I decided on a fresh lime juice and another type of curry. As they always do, they set my table with a placemat and silverware. When my food arrived, it was so hot and the spices were delicious. I was savoring the dish, thinking about how much love they put into their meals, and then how it was a very dark corner. I couldn’t see anything I was eating since it had become totally dark, the lights from the motor bikes were dying down and there were no lights on in the restaurant.
Suddenly, the lights all came on. The power had been out and I hadn’t even noticed since they were all calm and had gone about business as usual.
I ended the evening with a stroll along the river and smiles from everyone out enjoying the somewhat cooler evening air.
P.S. Sorry, I had to snag the cover photo of the dolphins off the internet. They actually don’t jump that much and I was only fast enough to capture a few fins😆!
Hey again! So, I got to see fish cheese today….and smell it🤭