We treaded ourselves to a couple of days of house boating. We decided to go with the American couple on the houseboat (you save money that way) and we went for two days not one. It was great. Our boat was huge, the bedroom was very nice, the crew was friendly, the beer was cold, the company was superb and we had an upper deck (costs extra, but worth it).
Our houseboat left at 11:30, we got on and the first thing we really noticed was how many other boats there were. The locals claim that there are 400 boats, and I would believe it. From the upper deck of our boat all you could see was the roofs of other houseboats. We got settled and were off. At about 1pm we were served lunch. No real warning, it was just there, which was great because everyone was hungry.
The food was tasty. We spent the rest of the day chatting with Aaron and Jessie (the American couple we split the boat with). Around 5 we docked for the night.
The backwaters a really neat. I always try to imagine what it was like before people were here, making levies and dikes. There are hundreds of canals running throughout this area. The top of the water is about 1 meter above the ground, which is really important.
The ground is covered in rice paddies, and when the rice needs some water, they open a culvert and let gravity fed water soak the paddy. There is a very complex irrigation system in place which works with no power and provides an amazing amount of food. The backwaters provide a great way to see the landscape and this crazy place.
We had only planned on staying one day, and if it was really good, we would stay another day. We stayed for 2 days, and it was worth it. The food was amazing, the scenery was always changing and different. It was so peaceful. The water was teaming with life from all trophic levels and it was great to see how everything lived in this ecosystem. What a great experience.
I would recommend people do this if they get a chance.