Laid back, diligent Mekong Delta

By Deutsche Welle   July 31, 2018 | 06:55 pm PT
Vietnam's rice and fruit granary has a unique ambience, exuding a relaxed vibe even as people work very hard.
Relaxed vibe: While the rest of Vietnam is often hectic and crowded, the south and especially the Mekong Delta have a more relaxed vibe.

Fruitful venture: Watermelons and pineapples are readied for the market, unloaded from one boat to another.

In the coconut factory: Its a tough and tiring job to work for one of the many coconut factories. There are no machines used, everything is made by hand. The average worker earns $5 a day.

Skilled work: It’s a tough and tiring job to remove the husk from coconuts, using no machine. The coconut is impaled on a sharp spike and twisted to remove the husk. The worker earns an average daily wage of $5.

Every bit of the coconut fruit is used, nothing goes to waste: shell, fiber and flesh are used for different products.

Going nuts: Scooping the coconut flesh without breaking the shell is also a special skill, allowing the latter to be used for both functional (ladles, etc) and artistic (lacquered bowls) purposes. 

Candies: Candy factories use the coconut flesh and add different flavors to make coconut caramel candy for example.

Sweet something: A lot of flavored candies are made using the coconut flesh. Typically they are wrapped in a transparent rice paper that can be eaten.

Bamboo mats against bed bugs: Hand-woven bamboo mats  are another product of the Mekong Delta. They are put under mattresses  as a protective shield against bed bugs. It takes two people to get the  weaving done.

Traditional craft: Hand-woven sedge mats are another product of the Mekong Delta. These are placed under mattresses as a protective shield against bed bugs. 

Everyday life on the water: For many people boats arent just an important mode of transportation, but also their homes.

Way of life: For many people in the Delta, waterways are an intrinsic, indispensable part of their lives.

Fertile region: The bright green of the rice fields stand in stark contrast with the brown-greyish water. Due to the warm weather and the water the Mekong Delta is a very fertile region.

Fertile region: Known as the nation's rice granary, the Mekong Delta fields are a sight to behold when the whole area shines a startling green.

Cai Rang Floating Market: In many places you will find floating markets in the early morning, that you shouldnt miss out on.

Laden: A boat brings watermelons to the Cai Rang Floating Market. Early morning activites in such places are an amazing thing to watch.

Seafood barbecue: And another must is of course: fish. You cant eat enough of fresh Mekong Delta fish.

Take your pick: You can’t eat enough of fresh Mekong Delta fish, sometimes served upright.

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