River boat with cargo sacks on top moored in Mekong River near Mytho
A river boat with passengers in the hold below, and many white sacks loaded on top, docks along the Mekong River near Mytho. The white sacks piled on top of this boat likely contain unhusked rice heading to market.
A woman passenger carrying bags of produce and wearing a conical sunhat walks off the boat’s prow towards a dock ramp. Such boats, propelled by outboard motors mounted on the back, are typical, medium-sized river and coastal island ferry boats in Southeast Asia. The waterways of the Mekong are the region’s primary conduit for local trade and transportation.
The Mekong River flows approximately 2,800 miles from the high plateaus of Tibet to the fertile delta regions now within southern Vietnam and Cambodia. The rich river delta soils allow up to three crops of rice per year and form the major food-producing regions of both countries. Almost 2/3 of Vietnam’s food supply is grown in the Mekong delta area southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.