13 April 2012

Mekong Delta--Life on the Water, Part 1

Welcome back. For a change of pace, I invited world travelers, Barry and Ellen Haack, to provide a guest blog post. Ellen put together a wonderful photo travelogue on their recent visit to Vietnam. Given the number of photos, instead of a Friday post and Tuesday photo addendum, I’ll just split the material over the two days.

The mighty Mekong River and its distributaries make for a lot of water in southern Vietnam.  
Mekong River Delta, Vietnam
A neap tide, fueled by the rainy season, can bring that water far beyond its normal limits. The locals, and their motorcycles, take it all in stride.
Hotel room view of river overflow
Looking at the water from a hotel room window is great, but getting out on the waters of the Mekong Delta is an absolute must. This woman and many others like her would happily provide a tour in her small boat, for a small fee. 
Woman rowing a boat on the river
Or local government tourist organizations provide slightly larger boats, for slightly larger fees.  
A tourist organization boat
For a much more upscale experience, book a cabin on a converted rice barge for a two or three-day cruise--for a much, much larger fee.
A commercial cruise boat
Whatever the size or luxury level of the boat, it’s guaranteed to provide a fascinating, up-close view of the busy life on and along the Mekong’s waterways. Fishing, usually done with nets, is a big part of that busy life.
A fisherman on the river
Larger fishing nets require a little more cooperative effort.
Two-person net fishing
Fish farming doesn’t require much time in a boat to get the fish, but it must require time in a boat to get a lot of other things.
A fish farm
This barge, loaded almost to the point of sinking with gravel, is one of a multitude of cargo vessels that ply the waters of the Mekong Delta. 
A boat loaded with gravel
A load of mangrove wood makes its way along the water.
A boat loaded with firewood

To be continued next Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by.

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