The Heart of Vietnam

Day 6: Today, we went to the Mekong Delta and traveled to multiple islands. The entirety of what happened was a massive assortment of activities, so many in fact that it is hard to keep track. We went to the first island, rode on a boat as well as in a motorcycle-pulled wagon. We traveled and visited the culture and scenery of rural Vietnam, as how it is in the Delta itself. We saw many different cultural traditions, such as traditional singing, drinking honey and observing the woodwork associated with the coconuts. Two of the islands also had zoos, which housed animals from crocodiles to porcupines to pythons. We even traveled to the island which began the religion of the coconut!

Observing the Mekong, we could see multiple things going on. First off, there were multiple industries at working. The tourism industry brought customers to all the various shops and souvenir areas. However, because the coconut is such a readily available source in the Mekong, many different things were created using it. Coconut milk could be drunk, the lining can be mixed and molded down into candy, and the outer shell can be crafted into sculptures using woodwork techniques.

The Mekong itself seemed to be booming in its entirety, but the threat to how long that will stay could be perceived. Due to the creation of Chinese dams upstream, the power of the water slowly has been dwindling. However at the same time, the warming of the earth has brought seas levels to new highs, producing more salinization in the water that gets irrigated to crops and such. However the river itself seemed to be doing very well. The trip I had today really reminded me of where I am in the world, all the way in Southeast Asia, Vietnam. The views were beautiful, and I know someday they will entice me back.

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