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Mekong Delta: Bridging the Future

Since Vietnam’s reunification 42 years ago, the lives of the people have changed for the better, and Mekong Delta is one of the regions which have been blessed with such progress. What used to be a backward “water community” is now a thriving land of traders, tourism and more opportunities.

Mekong Delta is called the “rice basket” of Vietnam because of its watery environment, an interconnection of endless rivers, canals and streams, conducive for farming and other agricultural livelihood. Houses, markets and other kinds of establishment float on water and the primary means of transportation are ferries and boats, including the ghe and vo lai.

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The local people are used to their very basic way of life, but the development brought about by the reunification resulted in the construction of several bridges, improving their lives in ways they never imagined. My Thuan, Can Tho, Rach Mieu, Ham Luong, Nam Can, Co Chien, My Loi, Vam Cong, and Cao Lanh are some of the new bridges that have built in the region. Before that, people used to rely on providing boat rides to tourists as their source of livelihood. Today, many of them have turned to selling, giving them a fixed income. They sell such products as dried fish, dried shrimps, freshwater crabs and of course their staple food rice, fruits and vegetables.

On the downside, the boat business declined. But the tourism sector in general is invigorated, opening up more possibilities. The bridges have interconnected the different provinces, made transportation of products and services quicker, and gave the local residents a chance to explore a new life in other places. And with more infrastructure projects anticipated to arrive, urbanization and overall progress in Mekong Delta is a guarantee…and soon.

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