The Mekong River Delta, shown from space in this photograph, is a region of unique geography and culture. Encompassing 15,000 square miles (almost 4 million hectares) in southeastern Vietnam, the region produces half of Vietnam’s rice — more than is grown in Korea and Japan together. The delta’s rich biodiversity also supports a thriving aquaculture industry that provides shrimp, basa fish, and catfish for local consumption and export.
At the same time, much of the delta’s culture centers around small river villages, steeped in centuries of tradition and often connected to the world by river instead of road! Life flows with the river in the Mekong delta region: river water floods the rice paddies, local fish and crustaceans form the cuisine and economy, and long shimmering rivers allow travel into and through the dense forests of the region.