Economies on the Water

One feature we’ve enjoyed is spending lots of time on the water on this trip – often boating on rivers that run through or near cities.

In Cambodia, we visited a lake that expands to five times its size and depth in the rainy season compared to how it looks right now. (The depth also depends on what China is doing with its dams farther upstream). There are literally thousands of people who live on the lake in floating houses, built on bamboo rafts and empty oil drums. There are floating stores, elementary schools and churches. Depending on the water level, the villages are sometimes located nearer the centre of Tonle Sap Lake, and other times further up river. We stopped to visit a crocodile and fish farm. Apparently when it’s not fishing season, most families have ‘fish farms’ in their homes. They catch/raise just enough to meet the needs of their family.

We’ve already written about the ‘mini mart’ boats that women in Halong Bay row to provide drinks and snacks to tourists on larger boats in the bay.img_0216

Near Can Tho in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, we cruised past a large floating market. It was full of vegetable merchants, selling their wares wholesale to shop owners. We were impressed by their ability to toss and catch two watermelons at a time, boat to boat.image

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