Mekong River Travel Photography Composition Ideas
I have already spent one day in Can Tho before, the highly touristy and biggest town of the Mekong Delta. I stopped by again mostly because it was on my way from Tra Vinh to Chau Doc and the Cambodian border.
Last time I was in Can Tho I only did a Mekong River boat tour and left after one night.
This time I was not planning to do another tour but after getting a chance to go with someone else therefore splitting the $25 price in half I agreed.
The other person never showed up for the 5:30AM meeting at the boat docks so I was on my own again. I made it obvious I would rather not go if I had to pay the whole price so we agreed on $15 for the 8 hour tour.
I decided to skip the already familiar lunch stop and pre-lunch shoulder massage which saved me $10 and some non-boating time.
My boat operator lady was equally as friendly as the previous one. Interestingly being alone and out of sight in the middle of the huge Mekong River does eliminate some of the ever present shyness and inhibitions of Vietnamese women.
This tour took me through different sections and not as picturesque as before. As it is the wet season I expected more beauty but once we entered the smaller waterways all I saw was tons of floating trash.
The canals were so shallow that much of the time the boat engine could not be used because the propeller kept getting tangled up in plants and trash. I accepted it as part of the Mekong experience it was still great to watch the river life passing by for hours.
There was an unexpected English teaching job offer which I received from the owner of the hotel where I was staying. The school happened to be in the non-touristy town of one of my favorite stops: Soc Trang.
The job pays a generous $15 dollars per hour with plenty of available classes and provides free accommodation. That is a lot of money in Vietnam (decent even with US standards) as it is possible to live on 3-5 dollars per day without hotel expenses.
There is a shortage of native English speaking teachers which I am not but pretty much the next best thing to it. I did think about it but I decided to continue my trip to take more photos and see if I can put together a quality self published coffee table book after returning to the USA.
Also this is an elementary and or high school teaching job which I am not ready to jump into without any teaching experience and basic knowledge. I quickly discovered the difference between speaking and teaching English when I was talking to a monk the other day.
He asked me some basic grammar questions about the difference between [much and many] and [good, better and best] which I could explain to him but I was stumped when he asked me about the rule behind the usage of [good and well].
I had to tell him I know when to use them but not sure why. I will definitely have to take an online TESL course to brush on the basics.
The teaching offer is ongoing and I left promising to reconsider it when I return to Vietnam. To get a 3, 6 or 12 month visa extension is quite simple all it takes is a few business days and the appropriate fee.
A familiar sight in Vietnam which I call “assisted urination”.
It can be seen in public everywhere even on busy sidewalks. This time the little girl is contributing to the already questionable hygiene of the Mekong River:
The following six photos show some examples of what the polluted Mekong River is used for in people’s everyday lives. The popular tour book does not recommend for foreigners to set foot in the river to avoid infectious diseases.
Early morning at the beginning of my boat tour, woman brushing teeth:
Woman getting a bucket of water for household needs:
Washing and cleaning fish in one of the smaller waterways:
Man cooling down in the midday heat:
Washing dishes in front of a signature Mekong Delta stilt house:
Warm sunlight just after sunrise illuminates a man who just finished brushing his teeth and fixing his hair:
Boat carrying bananas from the floating market:
Scene in the middle of the busy floating market:
Woman approaching the floating market just after sunrise:
Floating market shoppers start early before it gets uncomfortably hot:
Stilt houses provide an interesting visual to me because of the many straight lines of the poles and the tv antennas:
Typical Mekong River architecture:
Some of the houses have seen better days probably decades ago:
Fishing boat passing underneath a bridge which is still being constructed:
This boat was putting out more smoke and noise than horsepower:
Woman trying to push a large boat along as it is bottoming out in the shallow water in a small waterway spite that it is the wet season:
Peaceful scenery as a woman is paddling away:
I saw creatures from afar which looked like small fishes hopping through the mud using fins as legs (a bonus point for Evolution).
A closer view of the muddy riverbank,
The preferred and sensible way to get around:
A friendly greeting from a cute little girl in the middle of the floating market:
Spite the less than stellar living conditions mobile phones are everywhere:
Typical Vietnamese workload sharing: while the woman was carrying a bunch of bricks on her back the man was “observing”: