The Mekong River

With Chris Cook

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

I have been fortunate enough to have travelled along the Mekong River a number of times.,  The journey starts in Siem Reap, Cambodia and finishes in Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam. I’ve set the myself the goal to choose five images from one day that demonstrate the genuine engagement we are so fortunate to participate in along the way on our journey. I am the expeditions naturalist, on this journey I am fortunate enough to be travelling with National Geographic Photography Instructor Doug Lonesman, from whom I am able gaining photography advice, tips  and lessons. I’m shooting with a Canon 80D and use a variety of lenses.

This first image is simply demonstrating how we disembark and embark the beautiful ship, the Jahan. Every location we visit is unique and brings with it, its’ own challenges. The crew of the Jahan always manage to facilitate us getting on and off the vessel in comfort and safety.

This image came about from a mother proudly showing her daughter off. After we explored Wat Hanchey together, a 7th century Temple, we went our own ways to further explore. You may be able to tell that this little girl is a little tired, but it certainly didn’t stop her mum from bringing her over to meet me. After short exchange lessons in khmer and english, I learned this little girl’s name is Vann Ho and she is 1and a half years old. Look closely into Vang Ho’s eyes and you’ll see myself and her mum in the reflection.

This image was also taken while I was exploring Wat Hanchey. There were a group of kids playing and although I didn’t speak the same language, it was easy to see there were some recognisable games going on. unfortunately for this little guy he was a little younger than the other children and had been pushed out by the “big kids!” He went over and sat down by himself and looked at me, smiled and waved. He had just so happened to sit in the lap of the Buddha who was symbolically his protector.

Now this little boy was probably passed by many people, including myself, when a lady directly behind me made a sound of surprise. When I stepped back to see what the commotion was about, I saw Bot hiding in the dark. With a somewhat handsome, but innocent smile, When asked if I could take his photo he happily agreed, stepping out of the darkness. As he did something caught his eye and his face instantly changed, I think he saw whatever, or whom ever he was hiding from in the dark, I’ll never know what it was, but what resulted was this image. I later bumped into him again on the other side of the temple and was able to find out his name and that he was 5 years old.

As the expedition’s Naturalist, I had to put a photo of animal in the mix. I am very fond of all the bird life that we see along the river, but as every guest on this trip can attest, I spend a lot of my time looking for the smallest living residents on the temples walls that we visit. This beautiful jumping spider Menemerus semilimbatus, was only a few millimetres long and I was lucky enough to find him hunting on the wall of the temple and get this image with my macro lens.

Did you know…

…that I give fun, nature-based presentations to schools and other organisations?

Are you a budding Naturalist, interested in Photography or a keen Adventurer? Join our newsletter to come along for the journey.