The World: Hell on the River

"You can't slow down," said Si Chung Lo, 37, a short and dapper freighter captain from Hong Kong. "You're inviting them to shoot."

Lo had just brought his shell-scarred Lucky Star to the dock in Phnom-Penh last week−the 3,500-ton lead ship in a convoy that had to run a gauntlet of Communist gunfire to reach the encircled Cambodian capital. Normally, such ships−manned by Chinese crews that get large, unspecified war bonuses to do the work−set out every ten days from the South Vietnamese port of Vung Tau with cargoes of machinery, machine parts and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!