Land of Herbs – Vietnam

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Fighting roosters prized for their plumage and fighting prowess. Each cost US$50, but if they’ve won a fight, cost can go as high as US$2000.

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Quick lunch on the sidewalk

Quick lunch on the sidewalk

Common sight to see well-groomed ladies and gents sitting on stools by these road-side vendors to have a quick meal.

Cluster Fig tree

Cluster Fig tree

Our resilient tour guide Mae

Our resilient tour guide Mae

Her grandfather was a businessman with three wives. During the Vietnam war, they took a neutral position and were sheltered from the war. The fighting was fought by the Vietnamese and took place in the countryside. The Chinese stayed in the city and went about what they did best as wholesaler businessmen.

But in 1979, the Vietnamese Chinese left in big numbers as boat people with diamonds hidden in their teeth and gold bars. Mai made a perilous journey to Sumatra. From there, she was accepted as a refugee in Canada. To ensure she could go to school and learn English, her father reported that she was 12 when her real age was 22. Even then, she found attending class with Canadians of that age difficult as she didn’t know her alphabets. She later learnt to speak Cantonese (lingua franca of Canadian Chinese) and English on her own.

12 years later, she left her entire family to return to #Vietnam#. She spent 3 months in Singapore in 1992 as a mid wife. She joined a tour to Malaysia and Vietnam, subsequently taught herself to be a tour guide. When she started, she was the only female tour guide in Vietnam. This is the story of resilience.

Dragon Fruit plant

Dragon Fruit plant

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Dragon fruit, pineapple, pomelo, longan - fruit paradise at My Tho

Dragon fruit, pineapple, pomelo, longan – fruit paradise at My Tho

Mae, our guide to the My Tho area of Mekong Delta enlightened us of the difference between the ruby red dragon fruit and the white flesh dragon fruit. Difference is apparently caused by a particular type of fertiliser used by the farmers. When the Vietnamese farmers planted the ruby red dragon fruit plant, without using the fertiliser prescribed by the plant breeder, the flesh of the dragon fruit turned successively lighter until the color was reversed.

Red Kheng Huay

Red Kheng Huay

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Fish farming in the Mekong Delta

Fish farming in the Mekong Delta

Drying tea leaves

Drying tea leaves

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