Our next destination is the Mekong Delta. In the morning, we leave Ho Chi Minh City by minibus. The working population approaches us in a scooter-pulk.
We soon reach the surrounding countryside. The motorway is dead-straight and it leads through endless rice fields, orchards, and countless canals. After a one and a half hours drive and about 100 km, we reach the Mekong. In Cai Be it changes its name changes to Song Tien.
The Mekong Delta
Behind the border of Cambodia, the Mekong on the Vietnamese site is divided into two main branches, the northern Song Tien and the southern Song Hau. Both are then divided into nine different tributaries. Thus, one calls the Mekong in Vietnam also Song Cửu Long or Nine Dragon River. The delta covers an area of 70,000 km², roughly one-fifth of the area of Germany.
The delta is a floodplain in which the Mekong deposits its sediments. This makes it very fertile and one calls it the southern rice chamber of Vietnam.
Today highways connect the centers. Apart from that, the road network is only rudimentary. Most of the goods and passengers are transported via the canals. The plain is not only very fertile but also very densely populated. The people live along the canals, while the paddy fields and orchards lie behind the villages.
Boat trip through the Delta
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In Cai Be, we change from car to boat. A wide river leads from the village to the Mekong. This area is also a floating market. In the background is a striking French cathedral.
Wholesalers, who deliver the goods partly in several-day journeys, distribute the goods to local dealers and end customers. They sell primarily flowers, fruits, vegetables, and cereals. But there are only a few dealers to see, it seems we are late. Most of the accommodations along the waterway look poor and shabby. But from time to time we see comfortable houses in between.
Then we cross the Mekong and head towards the opposite island. At the Mekong Garden, we go ashore.
What we then experience surprises us. Small neat houses hide lie hidden the sprawling green of nature. Idyllic life presents itself. A proud mother presents her baby. Next door, one performs a small concert for a tourist group.
All around, paths around run in the undergrowth. Small bridges span the canals.
Between them we see fruit trees and ponds for the fish and frog breeding. Obviously one likes to enrich the menu with frogs.
Older women process fruits and vegetables. Sometimes they also make rice cakes. A woman quickly opens her terrace door so that we can have a good camera view at the family altar inside the house. We only see a few men. They probably pursue their profession or are fishing on the Mekong. Chickens and dogs run around. The whole scenery shows simple, modest, but also content life. Although it is not characterized by great prosperity, the people are very friendly and not unhappy in the midst of nature.
We drive on upstream, direction Dong Phu. On the banks of the Mekong, we admire the Mekong Riverside Resort & Spa*.
We did not expect such an exclusive hotel, but it is good to see that tourism brings money to this area.
In Dong Phu, our tour group changes to the bike, but we stay on the boat because filming from the boat is easier to manage. At our next destination, we meet our group again. It turned out that our decision was good. Most of them came a little sweaty and gasp for breath.
While waiting, we had time to watch the boat traffic on the canal and to think about the conditions of life of these people.
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