The delicacies of the Mekong Delta's autumnal flood

By Cong Han, Thanh Nien News

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Fall brings the flood and an abundance of delicacies to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.
Delta locals, who spend most their lives criss-crossing rivers, have grown accustomed to the annual rise of the rivers and have learned to make the best of things, by collecting an abundance of white fish and water lilies from flooded paddy fields.

A man from An Giang Province bunches water lilies for sale. 

Nguyen Van Tuoi, a boy from An Giang Province, travels to neighboring Cambodia every day to pick water lilies for sale to help his parents put food on the table.

 Cambodian water lilies are hauled to An Giang Province every afternoon before they are distributed across the Mekong Delta.

Ngo Thi Sam (L) and a family member empty nets full of linh, a common white fish, during the delta's flood season. The family makes VND500,000 (US$23,60) a day from their catches of the fish.

A woman runs her hands through a basket of "dien dien" (Sesbania sesban)
 flowers of which are fried and eaten. They are particularly abundant during the flood season. One kilogram can sell for VND25,000-30,000 ($1.18-1.41)

Thai Thi Be Sau from An Giang collects round two kilograms of "dien dien" flowers near her house every day to sell at a local wet markets.

Truong Van Phong and his wife makes VND200,000-300,000 ($9.4-14) a day catching and selling mussels.

Hundreds of fishing nets are set up in what is normally a rice paddy during the dry season.

A hearty catch.

Delta fishermen return from a day of fishing.

"Linh" fish in the hull of a rowboat

Freshwater crabs are another seasonal specialty.

At peak season, every wet market in the delta sells fresh crabs for less than $2 per kilogram  

Many families also process and selling field rats, who lose their underground homes during the flood season and are easier to catch. 

The season brings the best water mimosa, which is called "rau rut" in Vietnamese.

Lotuses also bloom during the flood.

Duy Phuong from Dong Thap Province cuts water hyacinth to sell for VND100,000 a day.

A vendor hawks water lilies 1.5 to 3 meters long down a rural delta road.

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