Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 1
NOTES OF A JOURNEY ON THE UPPER MEKONG, SIAM.
Bangkok to Muang Nan.
Early in December, 1892, we left Bangkoka myself, three Siamese assistants, and a sergeanta s guard as escort, and coolies. At Muang Chainat, owing to the rapid fall of the river, I had to send back the Navy launch, which was drawing 3 feet 6 inches; a month earlier she might have got nearly up to M.* Pechai. At Paknam Pho, where the Nam Pho and Meiping meet, after a good deal of bargaining I secured a rua nua, or north-land boat, to take me on. Boat-travelling in Siam is much the same everywhere ; and in their boat-life, it may be said, the Siamese have attained a high degree of civilization. Very often the boat is the home of the family, and after the rains they moor alongside the bank and cultivate tobacco, cotton, or melons on the slope on which the rich loam of the floods has settled down; after the rice harvest they will set out laden with paddy for Bangkok, returning later on with salt or other luxuries from the south. The Chinese, who are the most energetic people in the country, carry on extensive trading in this way. They use a very large double-ended kind of boat, known as a rice-boat,a
* M. = Huang.