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Mekong Delta Vietnam
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Mekong Delta, - Vietnam  
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Mekong Delta


The Mekong Delta is the bottom half of Vietnam's two rice
baskets, the other being the Red River Delta in the North . This vast delta is
formed by the deposition of the multiple tentacles and tributaries of the mighty
Mekong River which has its origin in the Tibetan highland plateau 2,800 miles away.
From its source, the river makes its way through China, Myanmar (Burma), Laos,
Cambodia and South Vietnam before flowing out into the South China Sea. The Mekong's
Vietnamese name, Cuu Long, means Nine Dragons for the nine mouths that terminate the
flow of this great river as it is absorbed by the sea.



The people of south Vietnam are often very proud of the richness and vastness
of this land. When referring to the rice fields in this area, they often say,
"co bay thang canh", meaning the land is so large that the cranes can stretch
their wings as they fly. Today, the region is one of Vietnam's highest
producer of rice crops, vegetables and fruits.





Major Cities Of The Delta

  Long Xuyen



As the capital of An Giang
province, Long Xuyen plays a very important role in the commerce of this
region. Many of the produce grown in the vicinity are shipped here
before being transported elsewhere. With a population over 100,000 people,
it has a significant number of catholics as the city boasts the largest
Catholic church in the region, seating up to 1000 people.



Long Xuyen is a big town with slow pace
living. Unlike its motorized cousin in Can Tho, "Xe Loi" here is pulled
by bicycle. 40 km from Long Xuyen is the hilly area of Ba
The where the ruins of the Oc Eo civilization dating back to the first
century A.D. were discovered. The Oc Eo civilization reached its height
in the 5th century and was part of the foundation of the Phu Nam (Funam)
kingdom.








  Sa Dec



Sa Dec used to be the capital of Dong Thap province,
formerly inhabited by the ancient Phu Nam Kingdom and later the Chan Lap
(Tchen La) civilization. In the 1700s, the area was exchanged with the
Vietnamese for military aid. Since then many Vietnamese have settled in
this area and effectively annexed this whole area. The Chan Lap were
subsequently wiped out and assimilated by the Vietnamese and today the
population consists mostly people of Chinese, Khmer, Cham and Thai origin.


Sa Dec has become less and less prosperous
ever since Cao Lanh was named capital of the province to reward communist
cadres from the area after the war ended. New constructions and developments
are now occuring in Cao Lanh, the commercial hub of the region.



  Chau Doc



Chau Doc is the last town in Vietnam before
entering Cambodia. The town is located on the right bank of Hau Giang,
5 km away from Sam mountain, the highest point on the Delta. This
mountain gets the name from its shape of a king crab, which is "sam"
in vietnamese. It is a sacred mountain for many locals since it is
dotted with pagodas and temples. Chau Doc is very famous for "ma('m",
a type of fermented fish used regularly as food ingredients or garnishes.


With a population of 85,000, Chau Doc is a
bustling city with heavy trade of illegal goods crossing the cambodian
border. From smugglers on bicycle carrying cartons of cigarettes on
their back to boats loaded with VCR and TV sets to new cars originating
from Thailand, it seems like anything is fair game in the wild
west of Vietnam.




Credits: Huy Thien & Trung Viet

Photos: Copyright (c) 1996-2004 Viet Bach




Description by Vietscape
http://www.vietscape.com/travel/mekong/


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