A boat through the Mekong Delta

The Mekong River, running from somewhere in China through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, is one of those legendary rivers that has taken on mythic proportions in my imagination.  I had high expectations for it.  And they were met.  It was beautiful.  These boats are part of a floating market near Can Tho.  The boats have eyes because so they don’t have accidents and to watch out for crocodiles, which are a problem in parts of the delta.

The delta was expanded by the French colonizers, who built canals to make transporting goods in and out of Vietnam easier.  Those manmade canals have become part of the delta; people have built houses along them and the canals and tributaries are just another way to get around, by boat.  The houses are on stilts because the water gets quite high and the region tends to flood badly during the rainy season.

While I’m glad my job doesn’t involve rowing anyone anywhere in 100 degree F (40 degree C) heat, it’s amazing to see how much the river dominates people’s livelihoods.  They grow up with it, they work on it.

Arriving in Can Tho, a major city in the Delta, via motorbike and ferry.  It would be awesome to take my motorbike on a ferry…

This little girl’s family lives on a boat in a floating market near Can Tho, where her parents sell fruit.  The floating market deserves its own post so I’ll just tease you with this one.  Isn’t she cute?

The Mekong River is home, work and play.  Personally, I wouldn’t swim in it, given the amount of pollution in it but, hey, if it’s all you’ve got.  Any water feels good when the humidity level makes you feel like you’re swimming.


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