The year was 2003, and this exciting journey took John up the world’s twelfth longest river from the South China Sea to Tibet and beyond. The Mekong has long been associated with mystery and opium-smuggling, but he hadn’t expected the excitement and dangers that faced him in its upper reaches. Starting among the rice paddies of Vietnam, he made his way via Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar and through the gorges of China’s Yunnan province, meeting river-people of seven nationalities along the way. In a climax to the trip, he and two Tibetans stepped onto the Guosongmucha glacier, north of Tibet, where the Mekong rises at over 17,000 feet. He was the first European to reach and map its source.
“Thank you for your brilliant talk. We can always rely on you for a super evening!” (Grange Lecture Society, Cumbria)
Follow Johns journey as it happened through his regular updates: