Tra Vinh      Ngoc Bien     Binh Ha Phoc    Mekong    Cu Chi & Cao Dai

Couple fishing in a canal through Binh Ha Phoc island, Mekong delta. He casts nets while she rows and steers.

Binh Ha Phoc is among the larger of many islands between the meandering branchs of the Mekong Delta.

Miss Lum, one of my two guides, crossing one of the many bridges over canals and streams crisscrossing the island.

I took a four-day tour through the delta arranged through Buffalo Tours in Hanoi, traveling sometimes by car but mostly by boat.

Woman sitting on a pier treating leaves of water coconut for use in thatching houses, Binh Hoa Phuoc island, Vinh Long province.

Lunch in a bonsai orchard, Binh Hoa Phuoc island.

Pet boas are a common thing to show visitors in restaurants in the countryside. Pickled snake wine is also sometimes offered as a digestive.

Miss Lum, guide, in hammock.

Her father was a Viet Cong guerrilla, wounded several times. Two of her uncles died fighting the Americans.

Nguyen Van Tam ("Mr. Tiger") and granddaughter with orchids.

Tam is proprietor of a bonsai orchid. Tourists visiting Binh Hoa Phuoc have a choice of 'home stays,' including a traditional thatched-roof house built out over the water and Tam's palatial home, originally built by a French planter during the colonial era.

Sunset over a meandering waterway in the Mekong delta.

Everywhere in Vietnam, particularly in rural areas, blaring loudspeakers serve as an inescapable public address and entertainment system.

Cock fight in a village on Binh Hoa Phuoc.

My two guides playing Chinese chess on Nguyen Van Tam's porch.

This began with my request for them to teach me the game but evolved into a series of heated matches between the two of them.

At lunch in the orchards of Pham Van Lan, toasting with an eau-de-vie produced from his own fruit.

During the American War Mr. Pham fought with the Viet Cong, ambushing American patrol boats in Mekong delta canals. Now he owns a large orchard producing tropical fruits, trees, flowers, and related products.

Net-cast fisherman pulling in his nets.

Traveling around the Mekong, you see dozens of ingenious ways to catch fish. So much so that you wonder how any fish can survive (which is becoming a serious problem).

Tra Vinh      Ngoc Bien     Binh Ha Phoc    Mekong    Cu Chi & Cao Dai

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