Do Miss Mekong


We had decided to take a two-day tour through the Mekong Delta on our way to our last stop in Vietnam, the fabled Phu Quoc island. Over the next two days we would watch local dwellers throw huge bags of rubbish into the river then bathe and cook in the same water. We would hold our breath as various bloated animal carcasses floated perilously close to our boat. And we would discover the armpit of Vietnam, a town called Rach Gia where no tourist should ever find themselves. Clearly, the Mekong Delta tour was not the best part of our trip.

Muddy waters

The Mekong is one of the world’s major rivers, running from the Tibetan Plateau through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Delta in Southern Vietnam, where the river splits into a number of tributaries, is the Mekong’s final stop before joining the South China Sea, so you can imagine how much crap it has picked up along the way.

Even when you see it with your own eyes it is still hard to believe that people continue to use these muddy waters for their daily needs. Unfortunately, most of them have little choice as it is the only life they know. It was hard not to feel guilty as our tourist boat wound its way through the area observing the local life with awe and abhorrence.

But thankfully it was not all floating rubbish and rotting dogs. It was fascinating to watch the daily fruit and vegetable trading at the floating  market. We were also taken to a tropical fruit garden where we enjoyed eating a platter of exotic fruit, half of which we had never heard of. And, of course, we got some good photos throughout:

Living with the Mekong

Floating markets (the plants on top of each boat denote which fruit or vegetable each is selling)

Bartering on the river

Get your pineapples here

How many dragonfruits can you fit onto one canoe?

As part of the tour we stopped to watch this woman expertly churn out rice pancakes

But we decided not to try the scorpion and snake liquor

We ended on a high in a luscious tropical fruit garden



2 Responses to “Do Miss Mekong”

  1. Tara Says:

    this blog brightens up gray days in paris, thanks marc & manna! xx

  2. cynthia cutler Says:

    Well you cant say life is dull. Love reading yout blogs.Keep them coming. Shall miss your reports once you get back to London xxxx

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