The eyes on boats at Song Cuu Long

The awesome view of the Mekong River in Vietnam

My day trip to the Upper Mekong Delta in Vietnam just evoke a kind of reverie that finally it is fulfilled, I am cruising the Mekong Delta, the mighty river called the River of Nine Dragons among the Vietnamese and mostly, the river I have only read in history textbooks. The Upper Mekong Delta has a vast history and aside from it, only the Amazon in Latin America has more diversity of life in a river in the world. In Asia, it is the Mekong River which has captured imaginations of travellers, backpackers, scientists and even locals.

The eyes on the boat, Mekong River, Vietnam

Tourists traversing the Mekong River in Vietnam

On this specific trip, I was wondering why boats here are painted with eyes on their frontcastle and this eyes are piercing, though enough to really acquire your attention. Traversing the choppy waters in the Upper Mekong Delta, I asked our guide what it meant. He replied by elaborating that crocodiles are afraid when they see huge eyes gawking at them. Surely, I do not believe his elementary explanations though amusing. I inquired more and the most plausible reply I have gotten was that “historically, boats have to be painted with those eyes to see their way around the Mekong River”.

Cruising at the Upper Mekong Delta in Vietnam

That answer was plausible to me considering that the Mekong River snaked through six countries, from the Himalayans of the North to Vietnam in the south towards the Pacific. It passes through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. With that, the Mekong Delta River spans 4,023 Km. Historically, the first European who navigated the Mekong Delta river was Portuguese explorer Antonio de Faria which dates back to 1540.

The Mekong Delta River is known in Vietnam as Song Cuu Long which translates into English as the “River of Nine Dragons”.

The boatman waits for us in Mekong River

Mekong River at highnoon

The boats anchored at the Mekong River



Categories: Mekong River, Vietnam | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The eyes on boats at Song Cuu Long

  1. Photos indeed can paint a thousand words. Lovely photos~ I hope someday

  2. thanks and I am happy to have been there in Mekong River. 🙂

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