Viet Nam

cocoa and rice

Xin Chào from the Mekong Delta,

The Mekong Delta is rightly known as the food bowl of the region. It’s where most of the exported rice is grown. Most people might perceive a delta as a fairly featureless landscape, with nothing much to draw the visitor. It’s not true.

tributary of the Mekong

The homestay experience is memorable. This is a chance to sample some genuine hospitality from genuinely friendly people, but also to sneak in at dawn to participate in the floating market. We feel privileged to do this since improved road transport is gradually rendering the floating market less and less commercially viable, more and more a vestigial reminder of bygone days. It won’t last too much longer.

Riding bicycles through the delta is also very rewarding. Because the human habitation is almost always in ribbon development along roads, it doesn’t take long to find different things in behind.

The floating market is much smaller than it was in the past. The stem is advertising the produce for sale.

Cần Thơ is the biggest city in the delta. The markets are immense (on land this time). There’s a nice footpath along the river. You can also ride bikes through here, too.

At Mỹ Tho, further upstream, we were told that the name of the city had no meaning; something unusual in Việt Nam. The boats on the river in Mỹ Tho have eyes painted on the bow if they go out to sea, but no eyes if they only ply the rivers. Tradition has it that they need to look out for crocodiles in the ocean.

dragon fruit plantation

It’s easy to by-pass the delta on the grounds that it’s not too exciting but that would be a mistake.

hẹn gặp lại from Cần Thơ


Other photos from hereabouts

Mekong Delta rice padis
sunrise on the delta
What’s on sale on this boat today?
Mekong Delta
Literary Garbage in Vũng Tàu
Vũng Tàu

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