The Mekong Delta Vietnam region is home to a fascinating culture that you don’t see in North America. It is made up of a vast series of rivers and flood plains of about 15,000 square miles (See Location Map). The residents are ethnic Vietnamese whose living mainly revolves around the many rivers and tributaries.
Stephanie and I booked a tour through our Guest House owner that took us on a 4 day trip by buses and boats through villages and rivers in the Mekong Delta Region.
One of the local people in a small village had this large python snake wrapped around his neck. He asked if anyone wanted to hold it. It seemed pretty tame so I took him up on it.
I haven’t seen this boat design back in the states.
The river area was very busy with merchants selling to vendors and to each other. This was essentially a market that operated on the water just like one would run on land. Also people lived permanently on the water on anchored down floating homes.
Our tour included a day at a rice farm. That was interesting! As you can see, the factory was dusty and filthy. I had grown up with my grandmother always suggesting to wash your rice before you cook. I understood why once I saw the farm.
We just snapped photos as we went along. The whole trip seemed like we were in another world and the locals looked at us like we were from another world. Lots of friendly people though. Everyone would wave and smile.
There were densely packed homes along the riverfront and actually on the river. These people all made their living off of the river in one way or another.
We visited a crocodile farm. There were hundreds of crocs fenced off according to size. the crocs were extremely aggressive. There were sign after sign in multiple languages to stay away from the fence. I took a stick and jabbed at one and he hurled himself against the fence like something you would expect to see in the movies.
The photo above shows a fish cage below the flooring of a house. People live in floating houses on the water with the fish living in cages underneath. When you opened the floor door to feed the fish, the fish would become extremely violent to fight for the food. The photo below shows the fish farm houses from a distance. There were private tours (couples in canoes) and small tour boats like ours floating around and viewing the fish farms. It was unique to us to say the least.
Perspective from Stephanie: Viewing these photos again, I must say that I am still in awe of the place. The beauty and the simplicity and resourcefulness of the people were astounding. Only once, during the entire trip, did I hear something about Americans that made me feel uncomfortable. On the tour bus to the Mekong Delta, a guide stated that they used Durian fruit to drop on American soldiers to burst their heads open. The guide was being informative and I believe, trying to be funny, however, everyone on the bus looked at us when this comment was made.