Mekong Delta Vietnam
Dry season expedition out on the vast interior of Southern Vietnam by motorcross and foot. This photo project looks into the local people, their culture, the landscapes and changing industries of a country fast developing since the much published cold war of 1965-75.
The Mekong River flows through six countries: China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and southern Vietnam. On reaching Vietnam the Mekong's giant estuary of the world's 12th largest river provides rich fertile land to an abundance of industries. Agriculture, aquaculture and traditional paddy rice farming interwoven with other traditional and Communist regime plantation can be seen up and down the many waterways as the hustle and bustle of international Vietnamese imports and exports and local trading in and out of the South China Sea.
The 25,000 square mile delta hosts a variety of landscapes which are often prone to flooding in the monsoon seasons and vast engineering projects that control water flow in the dry season. The matrix of canals and tributaries are divided into an upper middle and lower areas either mangrove swamps prone to flooding, leafy natural levees of the lowlands or well drained irrigated areas. The engineering projects are smaller than the Hydro power of neighboring Thailand or Laos but allows for 2-3 crops per year as water is stored for the dry season yields of rice. Fishing is very lucrative and with big buck activity visible where rice harvesting used to dominate. Global shrimp stock exports are on the rise here but containment due to contamination via erosion of the rising salt sea water levels are necessary. Stilted houses, barges, warehouses, yards, boat building, bridge building, textiles, animal rearing, crop storage, ornamental gardening and millions of motorbikes zigzagging around on and off ferries all massively loaded up with various bags/ trades and often the entire family + a chicken.