Tip: Take advantage of our promotion code DJC-12 on Jahan Luxury River Cruise and top 5-star hotels in Siem Reap and Saigon. You will stay 2 nights in Siem Reap and and 2 nights in Saigon.
Damming the main stream of the region's longest river is a contentious point. Environmentalists are bitterly opposed to dam construction, a key plank in the Lao government's plan to turn their impoverished, landlocked country into "the battery of Asia".
It wants to sell hydro-electricity into neighbouring countries through construction of 11 dams across the mainstream of the Mekong River with another 123 dams to be built along the river's tributaries.
Laos has just announced the go ahead of its third mainstream dam, at Pak Beng in the north and has tried to allay concerns over traditional fish breeding patterns, arguing fish by-passes would enable fish migration to continue upstream for spawning. Scientists, however, are not convinced.
Anna Green, Chief Executive Officer for ANZ Bank in Laos said infrastructure investment, manufacturing and tourism would figure prominently in driving economic growth in the region over the coming years but countries located along the Mekong would rely on hydro-power to maintain their growth numbers.
“Whilst there are good reasons why NGOs have taken issue with hydro-power development on the Mekong, the political reality is that governments of the region continue to see hydro-power as a clean and sustainable way to develop their natural resources,” she said.
“For that reason we can expect to see more development activity in this space in the near term.”
Green said the involvement of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), which was heavily restructured in 2016 after years of mismanagement, could assist in ensuring development is undertaken in compliance with international best practice standards.
“Increasingly governments of the region are recognizing the need to manage their natural resources responsibly and there is a growing understanding of the impact that their immediate decisions about damming will have on the life of their resources and their availability for future generations,”she said.
It's a significant shift which fishermen say has resulted primarily from a sharp decline of natural fish stocks in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) – a change welcomed by many who relish the prospect of an end to the back breaking work of fishing from rickety samphans under a harsh tropical sun.
Fishermen routinely caught between 100 to 300 kilograms of fish a day when casting their nets 10 to 15 years ago.
Then, fish stocks were near their highest levels as three decades of war came to an end. Today, they say their daily catches have been reduced to between five and 15 kilograms.
Overfishing, illegal fishing with electric nets, drought, increased demand and higher salinisation levels blamed on climate change have all played a part. Many fishermen however believe it is the upstream dams in Laos and China responsible for the disappearing catch.
“Fish are getting rarer, day by day, especially over the last two years and I think it is because of the changing weather, heavier rains plus the dam construction,” said No Isa, a 37 year-old fisherman, and spokesman for the local fishing community here.
Not all agree but his view is common in the fishing community.
About 70 million people in the LMB depend on the Mekong River for their food security, 10 million more than two decades ago, amid a wealth of development ranging from petrochemicals and tourism to dam construction and sand dredging.
Dredging too can be controversial if there is flouting of local environmental laws or the forced removal of too many people from their traditional lands.
But sand is still eagerly sought by countries such as Singapore for construction and Cambodia sits in an alluvial plain. The island-state has spent millions since exports from Cambodia resumed with the arrival of post-war reconstruction, a substantial contribution to government coffers.
David Totten, Director of Emerging Markets Consulting (EMC) said measuring the value of the Mekong River “in the strict sense” had to be achieved through “opportunity costs” -what it costs to replace what it currently provides. It's a measurement complicated by traditional values.
“That’s the issue facing Cambodia,” he said. “Basically a lot of poor people fishing in it, watering livestock in it, and growing crops in the land it fertilises.”
Totten said the Mekong River was also the source of much needed irrigation water and provided transportation for rice, cassava and other foodstuffs, including fish, even sturgeon breeding for the harvesting of caviar in the upper Mekong tributaries in Vietnam.
But within the LMB – the size of France and Germany during the wet season – increased demand for fish is resulting in a phenomenon scientists call fishing down: when large fish are depleted to the point they are replaced by once-discarded smaller fish.
With supply incapable of keeping up with post-war growth, aquaculture is emerging as a key industry, helping to offset losses among fishing families.
According to the fisheries newsletter, Catch and Culture, growth rates for aquaculture in the LMB are three times faster than the global total.
It valued the Mekong River fish catch in 2015 at $US5.8 billion, up from $US4.8 billion in 2010 and less than $US1 billion in 2003. The total fish harvest from the Mekong River and LMB was valued at $US11 billion in 2015.
Comparative figures for previous years and 2016 were not available.
Chinese firms are prominent here due to a lack of clean rivers in China. China Ocean Fishing Holding Ltd is negotiating a $US100 million aquaculture project in Cambodia that would include fish farms, a feed mill and a processing plant.
Norwegian group Vitamar wants to build a $US23 million dollar fish farm in the southern port town Sihanoukville while the Japanese International Cooperation Agency has its own plans for a fish breeding program and a research centre in Phnom Penh.
But business can also be fickle.
“Some months are good, some months are not so good,” said Sok Chanty, 40, who turned to fish farming as traditional fish stocks fell. He provides baby fish reared in ponds for restaurants.
“Still it's much better than the alternative. Fishing in the Mekong is physically tough and it hurts as you get older,” he said. “Why would you do that when the returns are so small?”
For those reasons world aquaculture production is expected to surpass the production of traditional fish catches by 2023 and that should help re-orientate food security and improve the lives of millions in the LMB, who still live a traditional hand-to-mouth existence.
Net fishing and private chef markets tours in Cai Be for the Jahan and Jayavarman passengers
- Upstream (Day 2): 8:15- 10:30 A.M.
- Downstream: not available
- For 01 to 06 passengers only
- Private tour guide from Jahan throughout
- Private boat from the ship to small canal to see fisherman net fishing. Guest may try fishing (30 minutes)
- Private boat to floating market, our chef will assist guests with shopping and purchased items will be prepared for them onboard (30 minutes)
- Private boat to the local market, our chef will assist guests with shopping and purcased items will be prepared for them onboard (1 hour)
- Private boat back to the ship (15 minutes)
SERVICES: private boat transfer, private guide, chef assistance, fishing activity, drinking water, sight seeing
- 1 person: US$ 135
- 2 persons: US$ 70/person
- 3 persons: US$ 58/person
- 4 persons: US$ 54/person
- 5 persons: US$ 37/person
- 6 persons: US$ 35/person
- Prices listed are for English speaking guides
- For French, German or Spanish speaking guides a surcharge of US$ 20 will apply (per group)
- Advance booking required and non-English speaking guides are subject to availability
Add-ons to standard itinerary:
- Private guide throughout
- Private boat transfer round trip
- Net fishing
- Market tours with Chef
Deletion from standard itinerary
- Rice factory Group guided tour
Contact our cruise sales at email@example.com for further information on Jahan & Jayavarman
2015 high water season for Jahan Cruises & Jayavarman Cruise!
The UPSTREAM HIGH WATER itineraries will be applied for both JAHAN from departure 15 August 2015 and JAYAVARMAN from departure 22 August 2015 until further notice
For those guests who will be taking downstream (Siem Reap to Saigon) program, the pick-up time at meeting point Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa at 12:30pm (check in progress is from 11:30am to 12:30pm). Please make sure you will be on time
For those who will be taking upstream (Saigon to Siem Reap) program, the drop off time at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa at 10:00am - 10:30am (leave the ship at 8:30am as usual).
The embarkation/disembarkation information and high water tour program are updated on our website via link : http://www.jahancruises.com
Should you have any further questions, kindly feel free to contact our sales teams: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you & best regards,
Dragon Legend is the newest member of Red Dragon Cruise fleet, proudly marked as the high-end product line, there are two ships which will be launched in 2014. Dragon Legend features 24 luxury cabins, 4 decks with both inside and outside restaurants, spa, bar, sundeck area and other entertainment options.
Each spacious cabin is an art of work with traditional decoration and modern facilities, private bathroom including jacuzzi, big bay view windows. Dragon Legend cruise offers a dramatic a public space, impressive open air dining and bar that definitely make sense of relaxing trip in the bay.
Building on a steel frame at highest safety level, the ship sets standard of safety in accordance to provide an amazing cruise experience.
Following mission of Red Dragon Cruise Company, Dragon Legend cruise offers trip to Bai Tu Long Bay in the less touristy area, the itinerary has been researched to extremely off the beaten track.
All the design features, itinerary and activities on board are customer focused and oriented. Mission of Dragon Legend cruise is to bring you another truly differential cruise experience of Halong Bay.
This inventory enhancement has added 10 additional units, bringing the total inventory to 36 bungalows at Victoria Nui Sam Lodge which is all about modern minimalism in keeping with the natural surrounds. The new added inventory are spread across the below categories:
21 Superior Rooms
09 Deluxe Rooms
06 Family Rooms
All rooms feature an earthy red colour scheme with bold accents and high ceilings, opening out to a private 12 m² open-air terrace overlooking the valley below, the perfect place to sunbathe or curl up with a great book.
With this inventory extension, Victoria Nui Sam Lodge is placed to welcome larger group bookings.
Saigon River. That’s all. Just take me to the river. That’s a request I often make while visiting the Vietnamese city of Saigon, now officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the Communist takeover in 1975. Let’s clarify something up front: Many inhabitants indigenous to the southern half of the nation refuse the renaming of the city – I agree.
To them, and to me, it remains Saigon. They lost their city to the Communists, but not their spirit. Traveling throughout southern Vietnam, it is usually acceptable to say Saigon. In the northern half of the country, refer to the city as Ho Chi Minh City. Although the city lost its romantic name to favor a scrawny dictatorial victor, the river has not. The correct name remains Saigon River – or locally Sông Sài Gòn.
The Saigon River is literally the lifeblood of Vietnam’s largest city – about 7.5 million and growing. The river supplies drinking water, transportation, fishing, ports, tourism, and an extremely important link between the isolated rice-farming villages of the Mekong delta and the global markets that buy their products. Like many large trading rivers, the Saigon River is comprised of a complex culture of peoples that have been ravaged by famine, war, and ideologies – ravaged, but never beaten. And that’s what I love about the Saigon River.
To this day, locals say, the river hasn’t changed much. Many people live along its banks, in tin-roof shacks and thatched huts – much of the rusted metal being leftover military material from the Vietnam War. In fact, if anything or anyone changed the local flavor of the river, the Americans did. Most, will tell you, for the better. But that’s not the point of this story.
Many people also live along the Saigon River in expensive condos, in pricey apartment buildings that overlook the meandering mass of water that begins in Cambodia and ends 50 miles later in the bustling South China Sea. Perhaps the strangest thing I find, when I say “take me to the river,” is that life along the river means very different things to many different people.
Saigon is a bustling city, one of the fastest rising economies in all of Asia. To understand the importance of the river, one must understand the city and its inhabitants. From 1954-1975 the city was the capital of South Vietnam. Before that, it was part of Cambodia, which gave way to French interference and war. In 1940 the Japanese, who ultimately surrendered in 1945 at the end of World War II, occupied Saigon. This provided an opportunity for communist Ho Chi Minh to take over.
The French intervened, hoping to keep their rich coffee and rubber empire intact. A war ensued and in 1954 a truce split Vietnam into two countries – North Vietnam and South Vietnam – along the Ben Hai River at the 17th parallel.
An influx of northern Vietnamese into the southern half complicated matters and a war broke out when the north crossed into the south – the Vietnam War. The Americans got involved in the early 1960s and it ended near the Saigon River on April 29, 1975. Many buildings and landmarks along the river have disappeared since then – but many remain.
I love Saigon. It is a fascinating, bustling city full of life – very busy, very chaotic. But also very romantic and historical. The city is geographically – almost culturally – chopped into districts. The poor and the rich know their place, and tourists are steered to certain areas and pulled away from others. But no matter, the river is omnipresent, always a player. Like the Mississippi in St. Louis or Memphis or New Orleans, the river steals the thunder, steals the show. It is the constant, the ebb and flow of life that gives sustenance to a city so desperate for normalcy.
My first few visits to the Saigon River waterfront were purely normal. In fact, my Vietnamese friend took me to the usual riverfront park that all Americans probably see. She didn’t know what I wanted, just that I wanted to hang out “at the river.” Sure, a lot of locals were fishing from the banks and piers, and young Vietnamese teens were walking hand-in-hand. In the downtown area – similar to American cities – the riverfront was clean and showcased. I shot a few photos – all of them postcards that said “Hello From Saigon!” But that’s not what I wanted. I wanted a local experience.
After some debate, I got one. Many locals are reluctant to show Americans anything other than the best of Saigon. It’s easy enough to find poverty and social ills without a local guide – especially in Southeast Asia. Although Vietnam, particularly southern Vietnam, is doing well (American industries do a lot biz in the southern half of Vietnam), many locals are embarrassed about the nation’s poverty and environmental situation. In any case, my friend put me on the back of her motorbike and off we went.
Somewhere just outside the city – I’m not sure where – we stopped on a bridge spanning the Saigon River. It was about 2 p.m. and the sun was burning hot. She dropped me mid-bridge, in the heavy traffic, and took off. At first I figured she left because the traffic was dangerous. Later, I learned, that she didn’t want locals to know that she was associated with the bloke that was photographing the slums and shacks along the river below.
The river rats - as my friend calls them - seem to embarrass the locals. They live for free along the rusted tin and plywood shacks that make up a large percentage of the river’s poorest inhabitants. Some of the tin, she said, came from American military forces during the war – just another reminder that the river is part of our history, too. The river, she says, was full of Americans for many years – the rusted tin and barbed wire nothing more than remnants of war.
“The Americans loved tin and barbed wire,” says my friend Ngoc. Her dad was a South Vietnamese pilot, killed in action fighting alongside U.S. forces. “You still see it along the river from way down south to Saigon.” In fact, the tin shacks along the riverbanks near Saigon give way to thatched huts north and south of the city. The tin huts are a decades-old reminder of the Vietnam War that doesn’t exist outside of the city. For most residents, especially the youth, the war of the past and the river of today are of little consequence. But at night, the river comes alive.
On a humid Saturday night, Ngoc and I motorbiked our way to the outskirts of Saigon. I only ask that we go to a local river hang-out. The brilliant lights of the city’s riverfront stays on the horizon. In the distance, modern glass and steel skyscrapers dazzle the city’s landscape with multicolored mosaics of light. After a 20-minute ride, butt thoroughly buzzed to numbness, we stop. And we have company.
Away from the city, to get the best view, and far from cops and nosy adults – the youth find their spot. The view of the city away is a reminder of the chaos left behind – if even for a moment – but also a view of the city they love. The Saigon River, flowing below, is lit by colored lights along the boardwalk. Below the bridge, locals relax in chairs, sit on motorbikes, chat among friends, and fan the humid air away from another sultry day.
This is life along the city’s river. Free and easy, relaxed and slow.
Her name is Saigon.
The original article was published at http://www.jahancruises.com/River-Blogs/lifealongthesaigonriver
77-79 DONG KHOI DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH VIETNAM
Ipa-Nima is known for unique creations featuring striking colour schemes and ingenious embellishments. Meticulously crafted and exuberant collections are inspired by imaginative themes, ranging from a Moroccan sunset to the journey of an exiled Geisha to the sensual cyber adventures of Barbarella and beyond. Always eye-catching and trendy, Ipa-Nima accessories are yet intangibly timeless and sophisticated.
1 NGUYEN VAN TRANG DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH VIETNAM
Established in 2003 by a collection of French designers, Gaya's two outlets specialise in fashion and gifts inspired by the Parisian art scene. The first international designer showroom in Vietnam pioneered new retail concepts in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. The multi-level, stylish Gaya is the perfect platform to exclusively showcase their signature lacquer tableware and high end jewelry pieces.
3 LE CONG KIEU STREET
LE CONG KIEU DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH VIETNAM
The city’s antique collectors long whispered about Le Cong Kieu Street years before curious tourists added it to their itineraries. The small street is a joint Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street and Pho Duc Chinh Street, a two-minute walk from the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Art Museum or Ben Thanh Market. About 10 antique shops are scattered on this small street offering an abundant choice of antiques from colonial and pre-colonial times.
4 VINCOM CENTER B
70-72 LE THANH TON STREET DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH VIETNAM
A six-storey shopping centre that houses the world's most famous luxury brands plus more than 250 fashion retailers and various restaurants. Each level has a coffee corner to help weary shoppers recoup while looking over the city. Vinpearl Games features fun & games for wide range of ages.
5 PARKSON - LE THANH TON
45 LE THANH TON DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM
Another department store located near to the hotel, features mostly popular international brands such as clarins, Estee Lauder, Calvin Klein, Guess. Its ideal location sees one entrance facing Dong Khoi Street, the center of retail in Sagon.
6 DIAMOND PLAZA
34 LE DUAN BOULEVARD DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM
Located imidiately opposite Kumho Plaza, which houses the InterContinental Asiana Saigon, Diamond Plaza department store inldues four storeys of retail presents the world famous fashion brands such as Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Bvlgari, Montblanc and importaed jewelery from Italy, France.
7 XQ EMBROIDERY
70B LE LOI STREET. DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM
Running through the fabric of the culture, the music, the poems and the art of the peole of Vietnam, XQ's hand-spun embroidered artworks capture the essence of all that is Vietnamese. With thousands of workers forming virtual village of embroiderers, XQ showcases their work at a central location, to the exacting standards of the company's founder.
8 T&V TAILOR
39 DONG DU STREET DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM
Returning from Vietnam without a bag full of tailor-made clothing is something of a waste. Located a short stroll from InterContinental Asiana Saigon, T&V is run by two sisters who dare to be alittle different than your run-of-the-mill Saigon tourist-tailors. Daring cuts, virtually end less fabric choices, and importantly 1-2 day turnarounds make T&V a favourite.
9 BEN THANH MARKET
LE LOI STREET DISTRICT 1 HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM
Ben Thanh Market sits right in the middle of the town, and is notable for its clothing, shoes, fabrics, coffee and, increasingly, souvenirs, as the tourist trade comes to overtake the local relevance of the market. The market houses fresh food and specialty products from all three regions of Viet Nam. By night the streets flanking Ben Thanh Market on the East and West sides transform into a bustling night market full of assorted t-shirts, shoes and jewellery vendors.
10 SAIGON SQUARE
CONER NAM KY KHOI NGHIA AND LE LOI ST HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM
Saigon Square is a representative of modern shopping in Saigonese, with swanky interiors include a large supermarket encircled by twenty other retail outlets of up market brands like Hugo Boss, Longines, Motorola, Nokia etc. There are also other shops which sell designer sunglasses, watches, furniture, air conditioners, luggage clothes and shoes. Please bear in mind that you need to bargain at least half of the price for most items and then slowly increase.
The original article is published at our Jahan Cruise web http://www.jahancruises.com/River-Blogs/top10shoppingplacesinsaigon
Please download the city map (Saigon
We apologize that we do not have facilities for disabled persons. There are no elevators or wheelchair access. If a passenger is unable to access a ship and mount stairs unaided, RV Jahan Cruise reserves the right to refuse to accept that passenger.
Due to various reasons such as heat and humidity, physical activities, personal hygiene, change of food, in order to avoid stomach illness during the cruise please be cautious when buying and eating food during your land excursions, washing your hands often.
Passengers must have insurance for medical expenses and repatriation; the company is not responsible for any of those liabilities.
More information at http://www.jahancruises.com/River-Blogs/medicalonboard