The part of the river where we lay at anchor last night is over a mile wide. These dredgers work all the time to ensure that the river flows easily down to irrigate the paddy fields. The dredged sand is sold to Singapore where they use it to enlarge their island. Clever, yes?
We visited a floating market. Completely unspoiled, only local produce sold to locals. No tourist shops. The shopkeepers hoist a bamboo pole on which they hang a sample of their wares. Sweet potatoes, Mangoes etc. This is a working river and we passed the various mills where the rice is dehulked and polished. Barges go back and forth carrying rice at its different stages. The temperature is 32o and the humidity around 98%. Sometimes the camera lens steams up too much to use.
We have been asked not to give anything to the local children, who are mostly very cute. The village elders don’t want to turn them into beggars. Further up river there is a village that has been adopted by the company that owns this ship. We have all collected the little gifts from the hotels we have stayed at. These gifts, shampoos, toothpaste, hand cream etc. will be given to the school teacher who will distribute them.