Off we went this morning for another beautiful day bicycling through the rice fields of the mighty Mekong delta! Not quite sure how Hai knew where we were going. Some of the paved paths were only the width of a sidewalk and MANY, MANY intersections . . .
. . . on the way out of town we passed this monument in the middle of a round-about.
Most of the rice is now mechanically harvested but many of the smaller fields and those used for local family consumption are still planted and tended to by hand.
The majority of the Vietnamese people are Buddhist and part of their belief system is if you treat your relatives, both alive and dead, with respect they will look after you while on this earth and in the afterlife. A common practice is to bury relatives right out in the rice fields in well tended private little cemeteries.
Lots of domestic ducks today which are fed during the rice growing season but are released into the fields to ‘clean up the scraps’ after the rice is harvested. Their wings are clipped so they don’t fly away!
Great infrastructure on today’s ride. Most of the cement looked new!!!
Our first temple visit along the way . . .
. . . where an orchestra made up of youngsters was waiting for the arrival of a neighboring monk, from another pagoda.
Nicely appointed . . .
. . . there are vendors everywhere. This woman was selling tubers of turmeric, a popular spice used in Vietnamese cooking .
Many of the little villages we passed through today had welcome signs over the road welcoming travelers. The bigger the town, the bigger the arches.
Almost time for lunch . . .the smell of grilling meat got my taste buds working overtime!!!
The little local stores are packed to the gills with merchandise. All very colorful!! Hopefully someone is keeping inventory!
Another typical rural home . . .
. . . where many times the scooters were kept inside the front door!!!
. . . ah, time for an iced coffee break . . .YUM . . .
As our group spread out during the day, Hai spent a lot of time communicating with our two van drivers and the sweep, keeping track of where everyone was. He used two phones and had a unique way of ‘attaching’ one to his ear!!
Although the temps were now in the upper 90’s, the biking was beautiful . . .
. . . as we wheeled along though endless fields of rice. There are three crops grown through the season and this one was about two weeks from being harvested.
Many of the little clusters of homes we passed have their own centralized water system with usually a little house up the top of the water tower!!!
Lunch . . . YES. Hai made sure the menu included vegetarian items for me and there were always at least two veggie/tofu dishes, many times served before the rest of the food was delivered. Huey and Bo ‘suddenly’ became vegetarians through the trip, although Huey tried to convince Hai he would like chicken or pork in his!!
Someone has to wash the dishes . . .
. . . and just like at home, someone needs to do clean up!!!