|The Mekong Princess|
|We went ashore in sampans. In some areas, the same one|
stayed with us and was towed behind the boat so it would
be there for the morning excursions. Fun way to travel!
|We also traveled their version of the canoe. It was a |
little unsteady at times, but very peaceful. Mostly
women doing the paddling of these vessels.
|The community had prepared some tea and fruit for us.|
We were entertained by some local musicians with traditional Vietnamese singing and treated to tea and fresh fruits of the area. I must say it takes a special ear to appreciate the tones used. The stories as translated were lovely and the instruments were pleasant sounds, but the vocals were challenging to the Western ears. Many of the people throughout the country, especially women, spoke in very high-pitched tones.
The local lifestyle seems primitive to our Western ways, but they are all thriving and have created a sustainable way of life. We learned early on that nothing is wasted! They eat everything and use everything.
Typical restroom for tourists.
They make bricks from the red clay so many of the houses
are made of brick with metal roofs.
The afternoon took us through parts of the Mekong Delta barely touched by tourism. Even though we saw a number of other river cruise boats in Saigon, we did not see them until we were near larger cities as our boat was off the beaten track.
|We passed many golden structures.|
Every home and temple has a front gate.
|AND there are golden Buddhas everywhere!|
|Making coconut candy for the market.|
|Making rice wrappers for spring rolls, etc.|
|Then they dry in the sun. No FDA here!|
|Ready for the horse-drawn cart ride.|
|These children are so cute!|
Our final stop for the day was in a neighborhood where the locals make products from water hyacinth. We saw many bunches of branches floating in the Mekong River and wondered what it was. It is the fast growing, free-floating plant that produces a pretty flower. The vine is used to make slippers, furniture, baskets, purses and serving trays.
|The women and children weave the baskets and other items.|
They get pennies for them and you buy them in a store for
more money than they can make in a month!
|Pigs on the patio! Cash crop.|
Pigs ruled in Tonga and Fiji, even Vanuatu. This is the first time we have seen pigs kept next to the house in pens. This family raises pigs to sell and for their own food.
|Typical kitchen cooking area.|
|They had a large kitchen. Bigger than most, but a lot|
of people live in this home.
|Thinh explained the meaning of the little|
temples in each front yard near the gate.
|SO! What do you think of my country?|