As Good As Vietnam Gets
Harvesting Water-lilies in Mekong Delta of Vietnam
Known to the Vietnamese as the Nine Dragon River Delta, the Mekong Delta is the last stop from the mainland before it joins the East Sea. This fertile delta is located in the southernmost and low-lying coastal region of Vietnam. When rainy season graces its presence, the Mekong easily floods as the rise in sea level makes the soil suitable for a particularly beautiful plant — the water-lily.
Provinces in the Mekong Delta such as Dong Thap and Long An boast lotus plants and water-lilies stretching near and far. During the rainy season, when the canals and rice fields overflow, white and pink water-lilies are in full bloom. These unique plants grow naturally; no one plants them or takes care of them through their life cycle. The higher the water level gets, the longer the water-lilies’ stalk grows — winding in and around each other.
The residents of the Mekong not only harvest the water-lily blossoms for decoration but also its delicious stalk for some tasty treats. If you visit the Mekong River during the harvest, don’t miss out on some local dishes such as water-lily sour soup, salad and stew with fish.
In the picture above, Jet Huynh captured a woman and two little boys harvesting water-lilies to sell at the market in Moc Hoa, Long An Province last November. See more of Jet’s images at www.jethuynh.com.