Tour to Can Tho in the south of Vietnam and photos of a local market
Tho is located between two main rivers that are part of the Mekong
Delta and has the typical appearance of a large city in south-east
Asia, where agriculture, fishing and local trade are the major
activities. The people sell and buy goods at the various markets
where there is anything that can be eaten, including the large number
of mice who live along the banks of rivers and which are roasted after
being opened in two halves.
Can Tho is located between the branches of the Tien Giang river, considered some of the major tributaries that make up the Mekong Delta. The big bridge over the river in the distance can reach Can Tho by car without any ferry crossings, and it was completed only a few years ago. The construction of this great work has seen the deaths of nearly 300 workers for a sudden collapse due to the use of unsuitable materials (the owner of the manufacturing company was recently convicted of murder and executed).
The city of Can Tho in southern Vietnam, is home to just over one million inhabitants who live mainly by fishing and agriculture.
In the center of Can Tho stands the statue of Ho Chi Minh.
I visit an ancient house of a wealthy landowner, who survived the U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War. The house shows what the life of the rich farmers and their families about a century ago was like
Traditional medicine is deeply rooted in Vietnam and it is especially used when the official medicine declares non-curable the disease you are suffering from. Different products of plant are placed to dry in this centre.
I stop at the Khmer pagoda dedicated to the Buddhist religion which was founded by the Cambodian community during the middle of the last century.
But the real attraction of Can Tho and the surrounding villages are the various markets where all kinds of food are sold and traded; it is a real ethnic tour in the heart of Vietnam, for the moment not yet invaded by mass tourism and where traditions have been rooted for generations.
Pictures of street market in Vietnam and Vietnam fish market. The waters of the Mekong Delta are home to over 100 different species of fish, many of which are edible and sold daily at the many stalls in the market. Some stalls also sell fish, crustaceans and shellfish from the sea (though not very far from Can Tho) but they are far more expensive than those caught in the rivers.
The diet includes of course shrimp and other shellfish of fresh water, frogs which are mainly consumed fried and crabs that, in addition to being eaten fresh, are also preserved in salt (picture below on the right).
In Vietnam you eat absolutely everything and what at first glance it might seem small chickens or rabbits, they are actually large rats that are reduced in two halves and then roasted. The Mekong Delta is populated by millions of mice and in these regions nothing is thrown away.
There is also a large python ; after being flayed to recover the skin, it is sold in slices as food.
Besides fish and meat, there are many stalls selling fruit, vegetables and their products
Much of the fruit on the stalls at the market is unknown to us, or it is so fresh and ripe that has a completely different look compared to what we usually see in our supermarkets, thus becoming unrecognizable
This stall sells derivatives of rice, and in particular rice noodles of different diameters.
Many of the villages situated along the Mekong Delta have no running water or drinking water in the home, so you drink water directly from a river; it is purified through the minerals sold in the market.
The large rivers along whose banks Can Tho stands and where life is concentrated in humble shacks which the government is trying to remove relocating families in more decent housing
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English translation by Lorena Anzani.