The “Recycle of Life” on the Mekong River

But just as the locals take from the mighty Mekong River, so do they give back. What may at first glance look like rickety bamboo landings for boats are, in fact, toilets … giving directly back to the river

Go to the loo and feed the fish. Catch up on all the goss with the neighbours while you're at it.

Go to the loo and feed the fish. Catch up on all the goss with the neighbours while at it.

The Mekong River is the source of so much for the Vietnamese and Cambodians: Food, employment, transport, a place to live…
There are so many fishing boats and nets criss crossing the huge river, it boggles the mind that there’s anything left. The big fish – and there are some big species – must grow up quickly … the life expectancy can’t be much more than a few days.
But just as the locals take from the mighty Mekong River, so do they give back. What may at first glance look like rickety bamboo landings for boats are, in fact, toilets … giving directly back to the river.

Always remember, you are what you eat… You eat the fish, the fish eat your “waste”, and you then eat the fish.
The “recycle of life”.

It's a long way down to the loo in the middle of the night, with snakes, water buffalo and the odd neighbour.

It’s a long way down to the loo in the middle of the night, with snakes, water buffalo and the odd neighbour.

The Mekong River is the life-giving artery for many Vietnamese and Cambodians. Guess who's fishing boat has a new TV antenna... You just can't escape News Corp's pay tv and skewed view of the world...

The Mekong River is the artery of life for many Vietnamese and Cambodians. Guess who’s fishing boat has a new TV antenna… You just can’t escape News Corp’s pay TV and skewed view of the world, wherever you go.

Every morsel of marine life out of the Mekong is consumed.

Every morsel of marine life out of the Mekong is consumed.

Bounty of the Mekong River, on sale at the local market.

Bounty of the Mekong River, on sale at the local market. With no refrigeration, the fish, crustaceans etc are kept alive until the moment of sale. This involves piping air into the buckets of water via a rubber hose and pump connected to a small motorbike battery in a carry bag. It’s not exactly a comfy finish for the fish though.

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