Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shifting into Poverty--Vietnam to Cambodia

The Mekong has certain other aspects besides the beauty. The beauty of the region belies some overall issues that are indemic to the SE Asia region. There is a duality in which beauty is often juxtaposed with poverty. However, poverty can not be equated with sadness.

People work in this region. There is no social safety net system like in the USA. In Vietnam, the shift to a market economy has also brought in a need to work any type of job possible. This lady moves her store on this cart. You will notice that she must physically push the cart.

At the ferry crossing, we met a bunch of kids. They seemed very happy to encounter a bunch of crazy Westerners being so happy to have taken a ride on a ferry boat. This sense of happiness also is evident in Thailand, as I have seen other people who are making merely 300 dollars a month.

Cambodia is a poor country. As we slowly cross the border into Cambodia, the houses are composed of wood on elevated stilts. Rice is the primary crop of choice. Entering into Cambodia, we are to visit one of the oldest temples in the country, older than Angkor Wat.  It is the Takeo Temple of the Funan who inhabited Angkor Borei.
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