Mar 12, 2018 - Jahan
Today we got an early start just as the sun was rising and creating glorious reflections along the waterways. Our first stop was the floating market at Chau Doc, an area that bustles first thing in the morning. Local boats and vendors gather to buy and sell fruits and vegetables, which oftentimes hang from tall poles so visitors know exactly what is available. We continued along the river, dotted with fish farms, and had the privilege of visiting a family-run farm. The owner and our guides explained the process of feeding and raising fish until they are ready for selling at the market.
Our local boats then dropped us ashore where we were met by a team of cyclos – our next unique transportation opportunity. A cyclo is a bicycle that pulls a two-seater cart behind it. Each guest had a chance to tour Chau Doc amongst the crowds of people from this interesting vantage point. At the end of our city orientation, we stopped at the central outdoor market. Open every day, this market features an abundance of fresh produce, meat and fish. Having a chance to capture the colors, people and activities were our photographers’ dream.
Back aboard Jahan, we had a late-morning breakfast and Tai Chi class before guests could relax onboard as we continued our journey along the Mekong. We carried on through narrow channels that offered a nice view of local life along the waterways and a chance to smile and wave to energetic locals excited to see us passing by. This was also a good opportunity for birdwatching from aboard the ship’s bow, taking in beautiful scenery and relaxing with a dip in the pool.
After lunch, we crossed into Cambodia, and guests joined our photography instructor, Eric Kruszewski, for an in-depth lesson on how to make better photos and videos with a smartphone. Barry Till, our cultural specialist, then presented a talk on “The Mighty Mekong” that detailed the environmental impacts that could result from dam construction in neighboring Southeast Asian countries.
Later in the afternoon, guests had an opportunity to participate in a cooking class taught by our fabulous chefs and kitchen staff. Through hands-on demonstrations, we prepared delicious local favorites - fresh spring rolls and chicken amok.
As we continued our scenic voyage along the Mekong towards Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, guests took in a beautiful sunset with a good book or cool drink and camaraderie amongst the other guests - all great ways to spend an expedition.