Banner for John P Seely.com - Travel Writing and Photography
 


Home Thailand The Golden Triangle ⇒ The Mekong

Thailand’s Golden Triangle

2The Mekong

The Mekong at the Golden Triangle
The Mekong at the Golden Triangle.

One of the world’s greatest rivers, the Mekong dominates the area and a lot of activity is based on and around it. The river itself has hardly changed since it was first explored and its course first charted by a French expedition between 1866 and 1868 led by Doudart de Lagrée. Even then they failed to reach its source in Tibet, which was only finally discovered in 1994 by another French expedition led by Michel Peissel. It also has the distinction of being almost completely undeveloped outside of China, making it one of the world’s last unspoilt rivers. There is still only one bridge between China and the sea some two thousand miles away. Other articles relating to the mekong are The Mekong: River of Death and Chiang Khong To Luang Prabang by Boat.


The Golden Triangle Arch
The Golden Triangle Arch

The Mekong is home to several unique species of fish, though sadly many of these are on the verge of extinction. The rapids in the section of river between Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong is the breeding ground of the giant Mekong catfish, which can weigh up to 300kg. You’d be extremely fortunate to catch sight of one though, and not only because of the swirling muddy brown waters. Dam construction on the Chinese section of the river has so badly affected the river’s patterns that no giant catfish have been caught here for three years. To seal their fate, the rapids are being dynamited in places to allow boats from China to travel all the way to Luang Prabang in Laos. However, there is plenty of local opposition to these plans so it the fate of the river is still undecided. Currently the boats stop in Chiang Saen, where they can be seen offloading boxes of Chinese apples and pears.

 
Banner for John P Seely.com - Travel Writing and Photography