If you've followed my blog you know how much I love the lazy Mekong River. I've taken the opportunity several times to rent a long tail boat to travel portions of it.
A long tail boat is simply a long narrow boat with an outboard motor. The motor rotates a long shaft propeller blade that extends several meters from the tail of the boat, therefore giving the image of a boat with a long tail. I expect these type propellers are great when the waters are shallow as it gives the boat great dexterity in terms of propeller depth.
These boats can be tourists boats as seen here.
Or they can be working boats like this one.
I sometimes take a tourist long tail boat if it's not the busy season so I'll have the boat to myself. But sometimes I stop at a dock where I see the boatsman with his boat and try to negotiate the cost of a ride. Even if they're not in the tourist industry, nearly everyone will use their boat to make some money. That's why they have it.
Come with me on a long tail boat ride down the Mekong. This particular area is the border between Laos and Thailand.
The currents can be quite swift in the river. Not a river I would want to fall into.
The houses that border the river are not the luxury waterfront homes you would see in other parts of the world. These are working people who make their living from the river. It is not a place of summer homes where the rich can enjoy their private pieces of the river.
It just seems to me to be a place set back in time. When rivers were the life blood of the community and not just a recreational playground for those who can afford.
I'll leave you with a video so you can see what it's like on the river: