Monday, February 06, 2006

Across The River

Map of the Mekong River
Originally uploaded by yellojkt.
Between My Tho and Ben Tre, there are four islands in the middle of the Mekong River. The islands are named after the four sacred animals of Vietnam, the dragon, phoenix, unicorn, and turtle. The boat tour goes between the islands to get to the Ben Tre side of the river. The islands are heavily planted with small villages along the water’s edge.

On the phoenix island, Phung Island, there are the ruins of a complex built by an eccentric holyman named called the Coconut Monk because he subsisted solely on coconuts. The grotto was built in the 1960s and looks like an abandoned amusement park. Right on the edge of the water is a large steel Buck Rogers looking space ship.

The pass between the islands is very busy as all the river traffic goes through it. Large ferry boats are the primary way across the river. A very large modern concrete bridge is under construction that will connect My Tho to Ben Tre. When finished it will open up the Delta area to considerably more traffic from the Saigon area.

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