THE MEKONG JOURNEYThe Mekong. The very name summons up powerful images of mystery and adventure. Its swirling waters, born of a sacred Himalayan spring and fortified by snowmelt from Tibet, have been the lifeblood of civilizations, rising and falling, along the Northeastern border of Thailand for thousands of years. Today along its banks life continues much as it has for centuries. By day farmers grow rice, tamarinds and mangoes. At dawn and dusk they ply the river's surface with their dugout longboats searching for fish. Come, follow the course of the Mekong. Meet the people who honor it as "Mother River" and form your own impressions of this legendary waterway.
Ten Days, Nine Nights
A myriad of fascinating cultures, virgin jungle teeming with wildlife, and dirt roads winding through the tropical end of the Himalayas all combine in a magical country perfect for discovery by bicycle. See its people and traditions as they have existed for centuries where life is tuned to the rise and fall of the seasons, the crops and the rains. Despite a history of great suffering under colonialism and warfare, the Laotians themselves are a deeply forgiving people who would rather extend a hand in friendship than harden their hearts in bitterness. As Americans, however, we will not overlook our historical involvement with this tiny country, and will find reminders that will allow us to weave these "forgotten" events into a greater understanding of our own past. With our guides, as much Lao as they are Thai (the histories of the two countries have often been one), we will be welcomed into village homes and into the traditions and ceremonies of the local people. This is an incredible opportunity to glimpse a world apart from our own before it begins its turn toward development.
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Torsak & Katie Murray Tiparos
31 Leeman Street, Portland, Maine 04103