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Mekong delta - Essay Example

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Mekong Delta is part of South Vietnam and is formed from the sediments of river Mekong that flows through various countries like China, Myanmar, Cambodia and South Vietnam before flowing out into South China Sea. Mekong River surrounds Ho Chi Minh City and forms the Mekong delta…
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Introduction Mekong Delta is part of South Vietnam and is formed from the sediments of river Mekong that flows through various countries like China,Myanmar, Cambodia and South Vietnam before flowing out into South China Sea. Mekong River surrounds Ho Chi Minh City and forms the Mekong delta which is interspersed with a maze of canals or tributaries. Single road connects the Mekong delta with two major cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Ho. It is divided into nine provinces.
History
Mekong delta was part of Khmer territory and important centre of trade and commerce. In early 17th century, Vietnamese settlers came to Delta in large numbers and in 1698, formal Vietnamese administration was established in the region. In 1802, it became part of French colony and became part of Vietnam when it gained independence from France (Brocheux, 1995).
People and language
Main inhabitants of Mekong delta are Vietnamese and Khmer population. Chinese and Cambodians also form minority population. The main languages are Viet and Khmer.
Geography and climate
Mekong delta is 39000 km in area. It was initially a forest area and marshland having diverse landscape with mountains, highland and plain region. The marshland makes it very fertile land. It has moderate climate. Due to its low lying area, it is susceptible to flash floods.
More than 1000 new species have been discovered in its delta and as a result it has been declared as ‘biological treasure trove (Fantz,2008)
Culture and religion
Lunar new year and mid autumn festival are major cultural events. During the festival, children float lighted candles on skiffs on the river. The multicultural society comprises of Vietnamese, Khmer, Chinese, Cambodians and Cham tribe. The main religions are Buddhism, Catholicism, Cao Dai, Hoa Hao and Islam (vietscape.com, 2004).
Economy and transportation system
Agriculture is major source of income for the people. Rice is major agricultural crop followed by fruits and vegetables. It is second largest producer and exporter of rice in the world. Acquaculture is another industry which facilitates export of fish like shrimps, cat fish etc. In recent times, tourism has also emerged as important industry.
Boats and ferries are major transport systems across the provinces and cities. Bus, light and heavy vehicles are used on the roadways along with motorbikes, and bicycles. Recently a cable stayed bridge was constructed that connects Long province with Can Tho city. The bridge is expected to reduce the reliance on ferries for commutation. Some of the provinces of Mekong are also connected by air-flight.
Unique Feature
Mekong Delta has two main floating markets: Cai Rang and Phong Dien, where villagers bring their produce like vegetables, fruits, fish etc. on the boats. All its businesses are conducted on the banks. They have bamboo houses and cultivate fisheries under them. Goods are bought by local traders who sell them in the big cities at great profit. It also has floating restaurants.
Snake farm, initially started as a research site, has emerged as key industry in My Tho township. It has more than 20 varieties of venomous snakes. It is renowned for its snake delicacies (vietscape.com, 2004). (words: 516)
Reference
Fantz, Ashley. (December 2008). Mekong a ‘Treasure trove’ of 1000 newly discovered species. Retrieved from: http://articles.cnn.com/2008-12-16/tech/rat.mekong_1_mekong-delta-mekong-river-greater-mekong?_s=PM:TECH
Mekong Delta. Retrieved from: http://www.vietscape.com/travel/mekong/
Brocheux, P. (1995). The Mekong Delta: Ecology, Economy, and Revolution, 1860-1960, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Southeast Asian Studies Monograph
Number 12, Madison. Read More
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