the Mekong Delta
In Vietnamese, you refer to the land of Vietnam as "Ðat
Nuoc Viet Nam", litterally "Vietnam's Land and Water",
which does evoke the major role that the river and its delta
play in everyday life.
The Delta shows varied landscapes: from ricefields to shaded
coconut tree woods, to mangrove, to orchards, interspersed
with timeless villages with their handicraft and even traditional
industries of fruit drying, sugar cane processing, brick cooking...
extension of the Mekong basin, the Delta is essentially made
of the silt drained by the river. The Mekong may carry up
to a few kilograms of dry earth per cubic meter of water during
the periods of high waters, that go and fertilize the whole
flow of the Mekong inverts back all the way up to Cambodia
with the tide, hinting at a very flat slope. One may thus
figure out the formidable volume of water in the Mekong, whose
peak flow reaches 150,000 tons of water per second.
evaporation of the river and flooded areas, as well as the
lush vegetation, have a noticeable effect on the climate of
the Delta, which is especially nice. The temperature in the
Delta is always a few degrees less than in Ho Chi Minh city,
although the city is very near.
Far from the pace of the city, the rhythm of life is that
of a rich and bountiful nature, and even if fieldwork is hard
work, it is gratifying labour, as both earth and water bring
into the peasant's basket rice and fruit, fish and shrimps.
is a hard life, lived by the peasants, but also a quality
life, all made of attention and care for the fields, the stock
and the village community. The animals are well treated, and
often will one see stables covered with a mosquito net.
same is true of the warmth of the welcome. In the Delta, you
will often be invited for some tea or even for some fruit
by the peasants.
The Mekong Delta is the most ecologically productive land
of the rice of the country is produced in the Delta in three
crops per year, as well as hundreds of thousands of tons of
fish, sugar cane, fruit and vegetables.
formidable production —Vietnam is the second largest
rice exporter in the world— is still today mainly made
by hand, according to traditional techniques.
in the delta is still rhythmed by nature.