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Mekong river journeys from around the web

| Words by Rachel McCombie | ,

We bring you some first-hand accounts of Laos and Cambodia by river from leading travel bloggers (and one sketch artist)!

To mark the launch of our recent article on Laos and Cambodia, we scoured the web and asked some leading travel bloggers for their accounts of journeying down the mighty Mekong River through Laos and Cambodia.

1. The Planet D, travel bloggers

A journey along the Mekong River is a lengthy experience, but one that could have you making life-long friends as Dave and Deb from The Planet D explain

“We sailed for 8 hours the first day and then pulled over to a small village called Pakbeng in Laos, It was absolutely beautiful and an amazing way to escape from civilization. We also made life-long friends on that trip. We met our friend Duncan from Australia on that boat in 2004 and just visited him last year in Queensland. It was so much fun to catch up and re-live those moments from the Slow boat to Thailand.”

Cruise from northern Thailand to the charming town of Luang Prabang in Laos

2. Traveling Panties, travel blogger

En route along the river you’ll be making quite a few stops along the way so take the time to immerse yourself in local culture. Katie from Traveling Panties did just that and took away a precious moment from her time in Laos:

“We stopped off and met a couple who were mining for gold. This was a particularly interesting experience. Even though they didn’t speak English, our guide translated for us as they showed us what to do. When it was time to go we tipped them five dollars for taking time out of their day to speak with us. The woman nearly cried and our guide explained that it’s because he said it’s possible they wouldn’t make that in a month. This made my heart heavy.”

For locals, life remains hard in many regions of Laos

3. Alex in Wanderland, travel blogger

If you find yourself in Vang Vieng for a short while then Alex from Alex In Wanderland highly recommends hot air ballooning noting it to be one of her highlights when visiting Laos!

“As we brushed slowly and calmly though the treetops. I can’t think of a more cinematic moment in my life.  As we drove back towards our guesthouses and watched the second flight of the day pass overhead, I couldn’t help but think that there was no better start to a day than this!”

The superlative scenery of Vang Vien

4. Candace, Writer and Sketch Artist

Moving slowly along the Mekong River you’ll eventually find yourself in Cambodia. Cambodia has a violent recent history and if you feel up to it, a trip to the Killing Fields is the place to visit to better learn of the Khmer Rouge and the terror they brought to the country.

Writer and Sketch Artist Candace tells of her trip to the Killing Fields “I slip a bracelet off my wrist, an orange one I found on a street in Laos. I’d read that they were an important part of Baci ceremonies, tied onto a person’s wrist for good luck, and so I had worn it since to remind me of my time there. Now I leave it on the Killing Tree, just above a bracelet the colour of blood, to hang until the wind moves it from its place.”

The memorial just outside of Phnom Penh. A permanent t reminder of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. Thank you to Candace @ www.candaceroserardon.com for providing this sketch

5. The Everywherist, travel blogger

If you’re into trying weird foods then South East Asia is the place to test your palate!  Cambodia is known for its deep friend tarantulas. So, along with her travelling companion, Geraldine from The Everywhereist on her last night in Phnom Penh bit the bullet and tried this unusual delicacy, comparing it to fried soft shell crab and between them they managed to devour 3 whole tarantulas!

Romdeng: An established favourite with our travellers and Insider Journeys staff (especially our Cambodia country manager and resident, John!)

There’s so much more to see in Laos and Cambodia, we’ve just touched on a few experiences to help whet your appetite (well, maybe not the last one).  Still wanting to know more?  Then take a look at this interactive guide to Laos and Cambodia and if that doesn’t leave you wanting to visit these countries I’m not sure what will!