Mekong seasonal water levels

Old Jul 15th, 2018, 07:23 PM
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Mekong seasonal water levels

Do the water levels in Vietnam section of the Mekong make a difference to cruising? I ask because on the Irrawaddy, low water levels, apart from making navigation difficult, make it difficult to see over the high banks. How is January for cruising Mekong?
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Old Jul 16th, 2018, 08:03 PM
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Several years ago we cruised with Pandaw from Siem Reap to Saigon. It was in March, so dry season, and in fact we had to bus four hours from SR to Kampong Changg to pick up boat. The water levels in Vietnam were good though. Everyone in the delta was concerned about reduced water levels due to construction of dams upriver in China. You could perhaps check with your potential cruise company.
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Old Jul 16th, 2018, 11:33 PM
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The time of year can make a significant difference to water levels of the Mekong, partly because of the season but increasingly because of the number of dams being built further upstream in Laos by the Chinese and Thais.

January is midway through the dry season in the southern Mekong and so should be fine. We spent several weeks travelling the Mekong delta from Ben Tre to Chau Doc in mid Feb and the water levels were fine. Some photos etc. can be found in several entries in the VIetnam section of our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/vietnam/

We travelled on to Phnom Penh by boat and the water levels there from Chau Doc lower with high banks along the river but that may well have been some form of flood defences.

The way of life in the Mekong is changing at an increasing pace and their main concern is not just about water levels but also reducing fish stock as the migratory/breeding patterns of the fish are being stopped by these horrendous damming projects.
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