Mekong Delta

After it 4800km journey from the Tibetan Plateau the Mekong River splits up into nine branches, “Cuu Long”, and empties into the South China Sea. The area from the Cambodian border, where the river enters Vietnam, to the coast is a maze of waterways and canals that crisscross the region. The delta’s area is the size of Holland with a population almost equal to that of Australia. Known as rice bowl of Vietnam up to three crops are harvested annually. The delta is covered with rice paddies, palm trees and fruit orchards and covers some 67,000 square kilometers, half of which is cultivated land. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that it is relatively wealthy region even though it was not opened up to agriculture until the late 19th century. Previous to this it had been an area of sparsely populated forest which became an inevitable focal point of conflict between the Viets and the Khmers, who had previously ruled this fertile land. Indeed, evidence of its former rulers is apparent in the ethnic mix of the region. Most visitors make it only as far as My Tho, the gateway city of the Delta, while few make it further to the urban areas of Ving Long, Can Tho and Chau Doc. Any visit to the region should include a boat trip to explore the flat landscape interrupted by narrow mud brown waterways and fertile islands covered with lush flora that supports small rural communities.

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