Life is so exhausting for a traveller, one moment you are just getting an understanding of one culture and then three hours down river you are entering another country and different culture. We spent our last few hours in Vietnam exploring the last aspects of life we had not yet seen. Rickshaws, like Cyclos were introduced to Vietnam a long time ago. They are still used by the local people……..they must have harder bums then us as they are quite uncomfortable on ones derrière. We were told that some rickshaws will take up to six of the local people or will carry goods from the riverbank.
Many changes have happened to improve daily life for the people. There is electricity and running water. Modern technology is evident in fibre optic wires, telephone towers and in machinery being used. Silk used to be made on looms with threads being woven through on shuttles. They now use machines to do this but with a manual option should the power fail. Safety concerns such as ear protection or safety boots are not considered necessary. We were deafened after just walking through the factory.
Women still weave rattan mats. Cotton has replaced coconut fibre. Rattan is used in bedding, hats, household objects like bags and table mats. Machines now carry and thread on simple looms and the woman place the reeds in between the spread threads. Their quickness and ability to remember the colours is amazing.
Daily life revolves around the water in the Delta region. Fisherman combine on boats to pull in nets. Other fisher man just use polls. Ferries carry people across the island,boats carry ( sometimes barely above the waterline) cargo, boats collect fish from the The many fish farms along the edges.
Imagine 120sq metres of fish in a cage underneath your house floor.
The afternoon was spent relaxing after our “strenuous ” morning. I have now mastered Vietnamese spring rolls but think fruit carving may be beyond my abilities.