I was sipping my Pink Lady cocktail and enjoying the brilliant orange sunset across the Mekong river over the city of Vientiane, Laos’ capital. It was the last evening of my Laos Pandaw river cruise and the day had been very hot, but now a gentle breeze was slowly cooling off the open top deck lounge.
A dragon boat sped by in the evening twilight, its crew chanting loudly as they oared in perfect unison, dipping their many paddles into the water in synchronous time to their chanting beat. Not far from our docked vessel, a local fisherman squatted on the tip of his longtail boat, checking his nets. I marveled at the ease with which he maintained his balance as he twisted and twirled on his boat’s narrow tip, his gyrations worthy of an Olympic balance beam routine.