|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.
MD is divided into 12 provinces: Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, An Giang, Vinh Long, Kien Giang, Can Tho, Soc Trang, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu. The people in this region are made up of Vietnamese and some people of Khmer, Chinese and Cham origin. This accounts for the variety of religions that add to the cultural diversity of this area.
Floating markets are held every morning from 5:00 to about 11:00. Phung Hiep market is the biggest since it is located at the intersection of 7 major canals. It is also a photographer's delight because it can be seen above from a bridge. Cai Rang and Phong Dien are two other notable floating markets in the delta.
Life on the Rivers:
The people living in the Mekong Delta make their living as farmers and fishermen. Often, they live right on the edge of the rivers or canals on various structures built from whatever materials found. Consequently, the architecture along the delta varies from place to place.
Cobras are often soaked along with herbs in large flasks of whisky which can be bought in the snake market in Phung Hiep. This potent drink reportedly will increase your libido as well as cure all sorts of illnesses. Live snakes are also for sale in the market and are exported to other Asian countries to be used as food and medicine.