As I look out across the rapidly following brown waters of the Mekong River, I see we will face many formidable enemies on our adventure this afternoon.
The river is filled with crocodiles although these ones have distorted faces with no mouths and are powered by petrol.
A custom here for those who own boats and travel these waters is to paint a mouthless crocodile on the bow of their vessels. This is meant to ward off harm from the real Mekong River crocodiles as a “mouthless croc” is all bark and no bite.
We leave port on one of these mouthless crocodiles then it is a group version of “Row, row, row your boat ….. “ as we are soon experiencing life again on the Mekong River and Mekong Delta.
Flag poles at the front of the boats advertise the merchandise for sale.
Sometimes there are whole families that live on these boats earning an existence traveling up and down the Mekong.
Interestingly many of the boats have altars on them which are marked with red paint. These altars are used for worship and women are prohibited from entering this area of the boat.