Mekong-ing

Yesterday we travelled from Sai Gon to the Mekong River Delta and spent the day learning more about how people live in the area. The river is 2,700 miles long, the 12th longest in the world. Starting in Tibet is passes through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam. To exist in the river delta area you have to live the life aquatic.

We visited a group of homes where the occupants showed us some of the techniques for managing this extraordinary existence.

Here they’re making Coconut Toffee from boiled sugar and coconut poured into cooling trays and then chopped into squares. I loved the baby swinging in the hammock – the equivalent of us putting him in the car seat for a short drive to get him to sleep. The kid was flat out in 3 minutes and just needed an occasional push.
Thi is a still for making rice wine (It’s a legal one). Rice wine comes in various strengths, from normal wine strength to the volcanic.
If you add dead snakes to the rice wine, you get snake wine. Nope… me neither
Rice pancakes are very thin, almost transparent and are used for making spring rolls. Here they’re drying in the sun.
This fruit is a Rambutan. There’s a knack to getting into it but the inside is delicious. Think Golf Ball sized spiky Lychee
For lunch we sat by the river for deep fried Elephant Fish, sliced and placed in fresh spring rolls. It looks slightly alarming but tastes amazing.
This is Water Hyacinth. Large and small clumps of it drift along the length of the river. The flowers and stalk are edible and can also be used as food for livestock and the stalk is made into rattan for all kinds of things. Its’ most important feature is to protect the river bank from erosion
This little charmer met us as we left, selling hand painted bookmarks for 1$. She danced about and giggled, pointing at my tummy, and asking if there was a bay inside it? (I really need to return to Weight Watchers). I couldn’t help myself and bought a bookmark I didn’t want and don’t need. I’m just an easy mark for kids, I should really stay away from them

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