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Chau Doc

Chau Doc (Vietnam). Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The drink was first recorded to have been consumed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty and considered an important curative and believed to reinvigorate a person according to Traditional Chinese medicine. It can be found in China, Vietnam and throughout Southeast Asia (source: Wikipedia)

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The Slum Along the Mekong

Chau Doc (Vietnam). This is a slum – a very poor and overpopulated urban settlement – along the Mekong Delta, in Chau Doc. I went through it directly from the river. As I saw it, I was impressed by the colours of some clothes and towels hung out to dry. However, as I walked along the narrow pier connecting the river to the main street, I remember I could not believe how dark was that path – my eyes were blind and even my camera was not properly set for those conditions of very poor light. I found these two aspects quite symbolic of life in that place…

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Rice Farmers of Vietnam

Chau Doc (Vietnam). Rice is probably the most important element of the Vietnamese cookery, not surprisingly the country is the world’s seventh-largest consumer. Furthermore, Vietnam is – after Thailand – the second largest rice exporter in the world and rice export contributes to a significant part of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. But the third – and not the least – reason why rice is important for Vietnam is the beauty of its fields. Rice paddles are a very popular attraction for tourists visiting Vietnam, and their color, their shape (especially in the norther region of Sapa) as well as the life of rice farmers around them, represent a great opportunity for photographers.

I was visiting the country around Chau Doc on a tuk-tuk, when I saw the typical scene of women with traditional Vietnamese hats, working together in a green rice field. I found the situation very nice and characteristic of the country, so I asked my driver to stop and I spent several minutes looking at them and capturing some images. This is one of them.

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Landscape of Chau Doc on the Mekong Delta

Chau Doc (Vietnam). Chau Doc is an intriguing destination on the Mekong delta, close to the Cambodian border. I definitely loved this place: I spent some hours photographing the life along the river’s banks, watching people farming fishes and moving with their boats. There’s something of magic here, it’s difficult to explain: a sort of “Vietnamese Venice” that made me thing that if Canaletto were from Vietnam, he would had painted Chau Doc.

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The “Tra Su” Mangrove Forest

Chau Doc (Vietnam). The Tra Su mangrove forest is a paradise on earth, and as such it’s very difficult to describe it using words or even with photographs… I had a tour around its narrow channels through intricate trees, using a small boat rowed by a woman. The forest is a paradise for birdwatchers, and what will impress you is over all its silence and quite, broken only by the click of my camera. It’s a unique experience, another amazing place of the amazing Vietnam.

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Fish Farmer Along the Mekong River

Chau Doc (Vietnam). Navigating along the Mekong River’s delta is an amazing experience, no need to say. People living on the floating houses – mainly fishermen and fish farmers – populate this part of Vietnam and make it unique in the world. I was enjoying a solo-cruise at sunset looking for fishermen to photograph, when my attention was captured by this young man sit on his house’s entrance. The perfect light, typical of the “golden hour”, together with his face, his position and the house framing him, made the entire scene very nice to be photographed. I could not resist!

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