Second Day in the Mekong

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June 9th 2005
Published: June 9th 2005
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Ingrid and Leo on the MekongIngrid and Leo on the MekongIngrid and Leo on the Mekong

We were in one of the tourist boats with a motor, visiting a floating market. Ingrid and Leo were a delightful pair to travel with.
This was also a full day, and I had to say au revoir to the French couple I made friends with. They were a lot of fun to travel and talk with. Ingrid has been doing an internship in Phnom Penh but they have to go back to France this weekend. Thursday we toured the canals more and saw a "Monkey Bridge for the first time. They're the traditional bridges that people use to link islands together, but the government is trying to replace all of them with ugly cement bridges. They're very narrow and I suppose not used much since everybody does everything by boat there. A monkey bridge is basically Xs of crossed bamboo across the canal with narrow logs laid in the bottom of the top half of the X. Along on of the outside uprights they attach a frail bamboo railing. It looks very sketchy, but when i walked across it felt pretty stable. One advantage these bridges have is they can lift up one of the bottom logs for taller boats to pass under, which I saw them do. A cement bridge doesn't have that flexability. One of the farms and workshops we visited today was
Monkey BridgeMonkey BridgeMonkey Bridge

I have a photo of me walking across, but this you can see the actual bridge much better in this one.
a pepper farm. I had never thought about how pepper is grown, but it's on a vine. I tasted some of the little grains, which grow on a dangly little stalk almost like grapes. Vietnam is the biggest exporter of pepper in the world: who knew?
Again, this was a wonderful day and I learned a lot.

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Pepper VinesPepper Vines
Pepper Vines

I was facinated by the pepper plants, it's just something I had never questioned or thought about. I'm learning so much here!

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