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Visiting the people of the Mekong River delta

One of many modern bridges we've seen in Vietnam; the Mekong is the fastest growing large river basin in the world in terms of hydropower construction (it is already heavily dammed but there are 20 more planned)

One of many modern bridges we've seen in Vietnam; the Mekong is the fastest growing large river basin in the world in terms of hydropower construction (it is already heavily dammed but there are 20 more planned)

In large cities, poor women will carry fruit in these baskets to sell; the endemic Mekong giant catfish can grow up to about 3 m (9.8 ft) in length and weigh 300 kg (660 lb)

In large cities, poor women will carry fruit in these baskets to sell; the endemic Mekong giant catfish can grow up to about 3 m (9.8 ft) in length and weigh 300 kg (660 lb)

Agnes helping to power our boat; an estimated 2 million tons of fish are landed a year in the Mekong, in addition to almost 500,000 tons of other aquatic animals; aquaculture yields about 2 million tons of fish a year

Agnes helping to power our boat; an estimated 2 million tons of fish are landed a year in the Mekong, in addition to almost 500,000 tons of other aquatic animals; aquaculture yields about 2 million tons of fish a year

This was the specialty of the restaurant where we had lunch (eyes included); fish species in the Mekong have declined drastically because of dams, flood control and overfishing

This was the specialty of the restaurant where we had lunch (eyes included); fish species in the Mekong have declined drastically because of dams, flood control and overfishing

Snake and scorpion rice wine, due to its high alcohol percentage, is traditionally drunk in shot glasses; in traditional Chinese medicine the wine is widely believed to improve health and virility

Snake and scorpion rice wine, due to its high alcohol percentage, is traditionally drunk in shot glasses; in traditional Chinese medicine the wine is widely believed to improve health and virility

Vietnam is the second largest exporting country for coffee after Brazil; coffee and tea are both extremely popular here with lots of stores dedicated to each

Vietnam is the second largest exporting country for coffee after Brazil; coffee and tea are both extremely popular here with lots of stores dedicated to each

We drove 2 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to spend most of a day in the Mekong River delta; the area is known for growing fruit and other crops which require bee pollination

We drove 2 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to spend most of a day in the Mekong River delta; the area is known for growing fruit and other crops which require bee pollination

Cocoa beans on a cacao tree; much of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic present on earth makes its way to the oceans; 90% o plastic in the oceans is flushed there by just 10 rivers; the Mekong is one of them

Cocoa beans on a cacao tree; much of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic present on earth makes its way to the oceans; 90% of plastic in the oceans is flushed there by just 10 rivers; the Mekong is one of them

A local woman rowed us along this canal; the Mekong basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world (only the Amazon boasts a higher level of biodiversity)

A local woman rowed us along this canal; the Mekong basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world (only the Amazon boasts a higher level of biodiversity)

I liked the chocolate packaging; our group didn't buy much since it would melt quickly given the brutal heat (the free samples were much more popular)

I liked the chocolate packaging; our group didn't buy much since it would melt quickly given the brutal heat (the free samples were much more popular)

Our tour guide taking a needed break; the Mekong is the world's 12th longest river at more than 2700 miles long (it starts in Tibet)

Our tour guide taking a needed break; the Mekong is the world's 12th longest river at more than 2700 miles long (it starts in Tibet)

We were served local fruits (pineapple, bananas, sapodilla, dragonfruit and mango); I tried them with the pineapple being my favorite; the little bananas don't taste quite as good as the larger ones

We were served local fruits (pineapple, bananas, sapodilla, dragonfruit and mango); I tried them with the pineapple being my favorite; the little bananas don't taste quite as good as the larger ones

The dragonfruit grows on a cactus-like plant; the fruit's texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds; the flesh is bland, mildly sweet and low in calories

The dragonfruit grows on a cactus-like plant; the fruit's texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds; the flesh is bland, mildly sweet and low in calories

Pineapples are grown here but it's hard to see how they can be a lucrative crop since they yield only one fruit in their lifetime; it also takes 2 years for a pineapple plant to produce while you can have 3 rice harvests a year

Pineapples are grown here but it's hard to see how they can be a lucrative crop since they yield only one fruit in their lifetime; it also takes 2 years for a pineapple plant to produce while you can have 3 rice harvests a year

We asked about the young people packaging the chocolate pieces and were told they went to school in the mornings; the small operation would not meet US sanitary standards

We asked about the young people packaging the chocolate pieces and were told they went to school in the mornings; the small operation would not meet US sanitary standards

All of the farms we have seen have been small family plots; no heavy machinery is used and all facets of production are typically done by hand

All of the farms we have seen have been small family plots; no heavy machinery is used and all facets of production are typically done by hand

Posted by VagabondCowboy 20:21

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