Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

On the Mekong Delta, we visited My Tho Town in Tien Giang Province, one of 11 provinces in the Mekong Delta and took a boat trip on Mekong River to visit a farmer's house and garden, have lunch on an inlet of the river and visit a local bee-raising farm and coconut-candy enterprise. 

Here is another family cemetery plot out in the middle of the rice fields. Staying connected with the dead is very important, especially at this time of year.

Here's the mighty Mekong River. Once the scene of warships. . . now bustling with tour boats.

Here are the ferry sampans lined up for business.

This is an enterprising houseboat/corner market.

We arrived at our first destination...the honey market.

They turn everything into tea in Asia. Here honey and cinnamon are mixed together before the hot water is added.

Brave Honey holding the honey bees.

Gave the singers some green.

Tasty treats, but we could only identify the pineapple. What's your guess?

At the end of this island tour we were taken back to the ferry sampan waiting on the MeKong River in these small wooden boats. It was an authentic little trip on the back waters where Vietnam felt much like Adventure Land in Disneyland.  
These folks are amazingly resourceful. Tourists equal money and everyone gets into the act. They have to really hustle to make enough income taking tourist on one-way trips back to the ferry boats.

Note: the steep stairway on the right with NO hand rail. Hand rails are rare on any stairway in Asia.

Going back for more paying customers

SNAKE OIL! This bottle contains a snake and a scorpion! Not sure what it's good for? Maybe everything like snake oil usually is.

This jar of snake oil seems to be popular by the looks of a convenient scoop. Good for what ails you. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...or just sick to your stomach.

I enjoyed this rest stop!

A water buffalo in its element, up close 'n personal.

This is the most unique presentation of a fish dish we ever encountered. Not sure what to make of it but certainly worth tasty investigation. This is the BEFORE picture.
AFTER! the fish was tasty and devoured.

Everywhere you see folks drinking coconut juice with a straw. Looks fancier than it tastes. Trust me. Later learned that coconut milk is used as a plasma substitute in emergencies. I believe it.

TINIKLING! Mekong Delta traditional dancing with bamboo poles in 3/4 time: Tap Click Click (down up up). I taught this folk dance in my general music class with wood blocks and pvc pipes. 

As we walked along the boulevard we saw these three colorful fellows standing on the steps of the opera house. Curiosity got the best of us and we discovered they were promoting an ethnic music & dance production that was about to be performed. What luck!! Turns out this was the last night of the show performed by local students before they left to go back to their ancestral villages for the holiday.

They are telling the story of an old, popular folktale.

At the end all the students came out and sang for the audience as a final goodbye and New Year greeting.

Clever, tasty fruit-shakes on a warm Vietnam evening.

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