The month of May is here and as the saying goes, “Spring showers bring May flowers”. And just in time to kick off the planting season (known as Royal Plowing Day) on the 24th in Cambodia and Vietnam along with a winter season full of blooming flora in the Peruvian Amazon. Here’s what our guests had to look forward to this month while on board our cruiseships.
The month of May on the Mekong River…
Royal Plowing Day marks the beginning of rice-growing season in Southeast Asia. The day is honored on May 24th with a 700-year-old ritual that brings two sacred oxen hitched to a wooden plow which digs a furrow in ceremonial ground, while rice seeds are planted by court Brahmins. After the plowing, the oxen are given a choice of seven types of food and drink to eat (grass, rice seeds, maize, sesame seeds, beans, water and liquor). According to local traditions, the selections they make will determine how rich the crop is going to be in the coming year.
This time of year is known as the “green season” in Southeast Asia with 30-minute gentle rains each day that nourish lush green landscapes. While on the Aqua Mekong, our guests wake up to riverbank views transformed into luscious walls of tropical greenery drifting past them via their suites’ floor to ceiling glass windows.
The month of May in the Peruvian Amazon…
Sailing on the Aqua Amazon or Aria Amazon in May is a terrific time to view the fall/winter (dry) season in full swing. With water at its shallowest, May is the perfect time to view the indigenous flora found only in the Amazon such as monkey brush, oncidium and, the perennial favorite, the orchid. Amazon rainforest flowers have a way of attracting not only rainforest pollinators but also our guests!
Our guests can hop on one of our high-speed skiffs to visit the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve with scenic views of the palm trees dotted throughout the reserve, as well as a host of mahogany, cedar, tornillo and “Dragon’s Blood” trees. Many of the plants found in the rainforest jungles of Peru’s Amazon are a good source of nutrition while others have medicinal value.
Whether you’re on your way to Peru or Cambodia and Vietnam, all of the excursions on Aqua Expeditions’ vessels are led by our friendly adventure guides who are fully knowledgeable about the wild flora and lush greenery in our rivers and riverside habitats. Our guides share some pretty fascinating educational tidbits with our guests on our Mekong river cruise excursions!
Whatever month you sail with us, be sure to find out from us what special treats the local destination has in store for you. You’ll be glad you asked!