Mekong Delta

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The mighty Mekong River starts up in the Tibetian plateau and flows for over 2600 miles through China, Laos (forming part of the border with Thailand), Cambodia and Vietnam. It supports the lives of many millions along its length, and finally reaches the South China Sea in the Mekong Delta region south of Ho Chi Minh City.

We took a day trip to the river delta from HCMC which involved a number of boat trips, a visit to a local market, a coconut candy factory, having a snake wrapped round my neck and poking my finger into a bee hive to taste the honey. Lovely!

The mighty Mekong

This is just a tiny delta channel up which we went in boats, winding through the maze of waterways. The main body of the river at this stage was too wide to photograph appreciably.

The banks of the river are where life takes place, these houses are piled up on top of each other and overhanging the water. A good deal of them seem to have TVs, judging by the amount of aerials on the go.

Slanty shanties


Market time; plenty of live beasts, fruity greenness and pointy hats.

There are so many people crowding the banks of the Mekong river, that a number of them have simply taken the plunge and decided to live on the river, in houses built on plastic oil drums.

Why buy a house, when ye can buy a houseboat?!

This is the end

This kind of jungle right next to the water reminded me of the first scene in Apocalypse Now. Before the napalm of course.

We were ferried up a small tributary towards a coconut candy factory by this cheerful pilot.

Row row row your boat

No splashes please

Earth moving contractors are keen to get every cent of value out of their equipment, this barge couldn't take another spadeful of sand and if a wave of any more than a few inches showed up, it would be at the bottom of the river in no time.

A cluster of pointy hats at a small traffic jam on a Mekong tributary.



Rats for sale! This guy was just sitting at the edge of the road flogging his wares. According to the guide these are good rats as they are fresh water and not sewer rats. The salesman didn't get any joy with us.

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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2006