ADVENTURES!!! I’m sorry haven’t posted in a while… but things have been crazy hectic in the best way possible…. I’ll start you off with a tour I did of the Me Kong Delta River in Vietnam.
We drove about 2.5hrs out of the city and began our tour in a rickity tug boat.
Our first stop was a brick factory… there were 2 kinds of bricks, foundation which were solid, and building bricks, which were hollow.
The hollow bricks were designed to insulate and allow for breezes to pass through.
Couldn’t not get a shot of this lil guy… He was limping because someone stepped on his foot…
Here’s where the bricks are made, the gas powered extruder pushes the clay out, there are wires running perpendicular to the extrusion that cuts the bricks to length… the whole setup is very very primitive, but super efficient. Notice they are all working women, and not wearing shoes.
The bricks are then carted outside to dry before going into the kiln… it was crazy hot out…
The kilns were huge! They fire 50 – 60,000 bricks in one shot.
But the amazing part was the fact that everything was sustainable. They used rice grains to fuel the kiln, and they were perfectly gravity fed to ensure an even burn… it was really really cool… the ash leftover from the burn is put back into the river and recycled.
The entire process takes 6 weeks. 4 weeks to fire, 2 weeks for the cool down… we were fortunate enough to see an open kiln.
A view from inside the kiln to the exhaust vent.
Off to the next destination!… Just passing by some other boats… they all had eyes painted on the bow… it was so the fish could see the eyes reflecting off the water.
The next stop was a salt factory… I forgot to mention that 70% of the Me Kong Delta villagers earn a living through coconut farming… and every part of the coconut is used: Core for eating/drinking, the sheaths/husks are dried and used as fertilizer and shelter.
This was interesting… Rats would climb up the trees to eat the coconut… when they’d finish, the coconut would fall to the ground… killing them… the villagers spot the coconuts with the holes and snatch them up for a good coconut infused treat!
SO… back to the salt factory… they would have large vats of water heated by the same rice grains and gravity fed bins… I love the low tech… The salt would then be scooped out and placed into the baskets… So off to our next destination!
I did mention that coconut farming was big right???
So this was the place where they crack coconuts… whenever you complain about your job or life… please look at this photo… see that mountain behind this gentleman… ALL HIM!… he opens each coconut with a spear dug into the ground… very very difficult… I tried with no success… I didn’t really want to slip and plant my stomach into the spearhead.
We bought some coconut chams for 1000 dong and were off… They… were… AMAZING…
Here’s a shot of the river from behind the tug boat… so far… the tugboat part was kind of touristy… I really thought we were going into the thick of the Me Kong Delta… and was kind of disappointed… Until…
It dropped us off!… that’s where the fun began!
We took a quick hike into the village… it was so hot some of us decided to buy straw hats.
We stopped off at a mat/basket weaving house and had some local fruit with chilli salt… the pineapple tasted like candy… it was unreal.
Here is a mother and a grandmother weaving a mat… notice the “Y” shaped branches holding up the rack…
Now see… THIS WAS FUN… I forgot what the vietnamese word was… but it was such a trip… Sylvian and I sat in the motorcycle cart where it carried only 2 people in the back… it was basically a platform and 2 cushions… no armrest… it was a riot… we were laughing…taking pics… avoiding palm trees… and trying not to die… all at the same time!
We drove past the village… farms… locals buzzed past us… I’ve never felt so alive.
After the 5-10km ride… we hop off and head down a couple roads…
“Road”… aka beaten path…
That led to THIS!!! this was the hut we had our lunch in!
The food was nothing short of amazing… and it doesn’t get more authentic!
This was the “elephant” fish… It was served in a fresh spring roll wrap with noodles, cucumber, pineapple, and garnish… DELISH.
Can’t forget the giant prawns!
After the eats and a bit of chilling… we walked down another couple of paths and are in greeted by 4 row boats!!! this was what I was expecting the tour to be!…
AND… we’re off!
We paddled through some tight spots in the river and it finally opened up!
We rowed until we reached the tug boat… then headed back… This is the first night I’ve been free… It has been a crazy adventure for the past 2 weeks… and this was only ONE day… I’m in Tokyo right now… I’m just trying to absorb as much as possible… I will try my best to keep ya’ll posted… I hope it was worth the wait.