the dense network of branches of the Mekong Delta, there are numerous
villages completely surrounded by the vegetation. The water channels
are used as a great natural highway and almost all people have at least
a small boat for daily commuting.
|The banks of the canals are populated by dense vegetation represented mainly by Nypa fruticans, a special palm tree that lives in aquatic ecosystems similar to those colonized by mangroves. Locally known as "water coconut", the leaves, which can be up to nine meters long, are used to cover the roofs of the houses. In the picture on the left, the fruit of Nypa fruticans (nipa palm).|
villages are completely surrounded by the vegetation and, in most
cases, they have only narrow concrete roads where people travel by
bicycle or a motorbike.
|The houses are almost completely invisible in the dense vegetation.
Around the house there are wide gardens and cultivated fields with tropical fruits, where there are also farm animals.
grapefruit tree, whose fruits are protected by a network that prevents
the butterflies from lay down, thus reducing the problem of fruit
infested by larvae.
families in the village make a living through a variety of
activities which include mainly the food and textile sectors. In these
photos, a rudimentary frame is used to produce mats from long bundles
of grass growing on the banks of the river. It takes about half a day
to produce two mats of about two meters length each.
|Between the tracks of the village it is easy to find bicycles heavily loaded.
processing of the coconut and the transport of connected
materials is one of the main activities of the village, which is
performed by many inhabitants.
leaves of the nipa palm (Nypa fruticans) are hung out to dry in the sun
as they are used to cover roofs and facades of buildings.
|I visit a nice man who tells me how to climb easily and in complete safety on the palm trees. First, a large ring made with banana leaves is applied around the ankles ;it works like a grip on the trunk preventing subsequent to slide down, then... you climb. No need to say that I had to give up in half a meter from the ground, while the owner of the palm arrived almost at the top in few seconds and with a very little effort.
village also has a small market where people buy or exchange goods.
Since the Mekong Delta is home to a wide variety of fish, most of the
stalls are dedicated to selling fish, although there are also stalls
the tracks of the village I come across a huge Cycas revoluta, a palm
tree which grows very slowly. This specimen is told to be about a
century old, but in my opinion, judging both the size of the canopy (5
meters) and the size of the barrel, I think it's much older.
Fortunately it is survived after the herbicide sprayed by air over a
large part of the Mekong Delta by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
|In the village there is not a real cemetery, as the Vietnamese prefer in most cases to be buried in the courtyard of their home, or in their field.|
visit the small temple of Phu Nhuan abandoned for lack of believers,
where the altar was desecrated and deprived of the statue which
represented the deity.
|Finally, I leave the village on board a small boat.|