The Mekong’s Sneaky Snakes

Today we visited the Mekong Delta, mostly through boat travel to several small islands. One island was built around coconuts, housing the shrine of the coconut religion founded by a Vietnamese man several decades ago. Another island featured a variety of fresh fruits and local music. A third island was both my favorite and least favorite. There was a python that everyone got the option of slinging around their shoulders. While this creeped me out, I was ready to do it. All of a sudden, a weight drops on my shoulders from behind, where a local has dropped a second python on me with no warning. While it almost gave me a heart attack, I am sure that it made for some nice photos at the very least.

Getting into more specifics about the Mekong, I did not see and the locals did not mention much about climate change and how it was negatively affecting those that’s livelihood depended on the river. I believe the guide did mention about climate change briefly, but other than that it was surprisingly silent. Nonetheless, this is an threat and the Vietnamese government is acting accordingly. To stop massive hydroelectric damns from being built along the river, mostly in China, Vietnam has issued a formal demand in an effort to keep the river obstruction free. This is vital to keep fresh silt and fish flowing down river into the basin. These two things are vital for the main two industries of the river basin (besides tourism): farming (silt) and fishing.

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