Vietnam Gallery ~ The Mekong Delta
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Vietnam's Rice Bowl
December 22 2001

The Mekong's annual flooding has blessed this region with fertile soils that have made this area 'the ricebowl' of Vietnam. A change in politics in 1989 allowed farmers to sell their surpluses on the open market and quickly turned Vietnam from a rice importer to the second biggest exporter of rice in the world, behind Thailand, a fact any visitor to the country will be constantly reminded of.

 

Floating market
December 22 2001

People work, live and play on the river. People shop on the river. So how do you know where to go for a coffin, a new pair of shoes or fresh vegetables? Follow the signs of course - this boat/shop clearly advertises the finest carrots, the freshest onions and, well, I guess you just have to know where to go.

 

Children of the delta
December 21 - 23 2001

If only children held the reigns of power . . . All over the Mekong delta the children seem to find great joy in waving fanatically at the strange white people passing by their homes. It is a simple and easy pleasure to wave back and bring smiles and laughter for everyone.

 

Into VC territory
December 21 2001

Rung Tram forest was the hideout for a handful of high ranking Viet Cong officers. From this secret swamp hide-out they could conduct their guerilla war against the south. An American base was just 2 km away.

 

 

Mekong farmhouse
December 21 2001

A typical peasants house in the Mekong delta - pots to catch rainwater in front, rice paddies behind and a cleared threshing area beside.

 

 

 

Fisherman
December 23 2001

Nets lined with what look like bicycle chains are repeatedly gathered and cast over the water between the floating houses. The catch that is not eaten is simply split and laid out to dry in the sun giving the entire 'neighborhood' a distinct . . . aroma.

 

 

Homes of the delta
December 21 - 23 2001

Stilt houses are built along (and into) the Mekong river that is the source of all food, commerce and transport here in the delta.

 

 

 

Incense
December 22 2001

An image from a visit to an incense factory in the delta where every stick is rolled by hand and dried in the sun.

 

 

 

Julie
December 22 2001

Aboard one of the MANY conveyances we'd use during our three days in the Mekong Delta.

 

 

 

Drying the pajama suit
December 23 2001

In both China and Vietnam it is not just acceptable but fashionable to wear your pajamas about town. We are not talking the blue or black garments of the Communist era either. With the open door has come everything from paisley to pastel and who can blame them - where style and comfort meet, Hello Kitty pajamas are found.

 

Mothers Everywhere
December 22 2001

The vast majority of the Cham minority that live in Vietnam are found in the Mekong delta. Once a great nation that challenged the mighty Khmer empire of Cambodia, the Cham originally made their home in the rich central highlands. Once upon a time, long long ago, the Chams were split between those who remained Hindu and those who converted to Islam. The losers in that war, these Muslim Cham, were banished to the south where they are found today, some of the most impoverished people in the area. As for the Hindus who remained in the highlands, only their monuments remain.



   

 

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