After living in the crowded Ho Chi Minh City, I finally felt tired physically and mentally. It has also been two months since this research started. I need to rest my ears from the noises. I decided to go to the Mekong River Delta. This river starts in Tibet and goes through Yunnan province, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It stretches for 4,350 kilometres, splitting the land of Southeast Asia and ends in the Eastern Vietnam Sea.
There is a couple of points in the Mekong Delta, such as My Tho, Vinh Long, Cai Rang, Can Tho, Ben Tre, etc. Amongst them is Can Tho that is a popular site for tourists. I have never been to any of the places. The person who was selling the bus tickets suggested me to go to Can Tho, which is interesting and crowded. However, I told her that I was looking for quiet place. She then suggested that I go to Ben Tre.
As I arrive in Ben Tre, I found a quiet and comfortable lodge named Quoc Phuong Riverside Homestay. It is inside a village far from the main road. It was perfect! I can rest my mind, body, and also ears from the hectic city, in the midst of trees. in the day, there are only the sound of birds, insects, and some dogs barking once in a while. At night, this all change in to the sound of crickets and occasional sound of frogs. It was very different from my lodge near Đường Trần Hưng Đạo Ho Chi Minh City, which was full of sounds of cafes and bars at night. I arrived in this lodge at noon of February 27.
In the afternoon, with the bicycle provided by the lodge, I ventured through the quiet villages of the Mekong Delta. I then decided to record the sound of the river. The Mekong River Delta in Ben Tre is very wide. It feels like looking to the sea when you look at the delta. The river that has filled the civilization of Southeast Asia for thousands of year seemed very spacious in front of my eyes. I have never come across a river as big as this. This river has been here since the time of Khmer kingdom, Cambodia and another kindoms. This river also holds many histories of the Southeast Asia trades.
In this recording, you can hear the sound of splashing water in the calm Mekong River. Once in a while, you can hear the splashing intensifies when a boat crosses. 50 metres to my left is a boat playing Vietnamese songs. The sounds of birds and insects are also a part of this symphony. To my right is a boat, which is possibly a commodity boat, where you can hear metal being hit. It seems that the crew are fixing the boat. Lastly, you can hear the sound of ship engines that pass by once in a while.
Of course, the soundscape in Mekong River Delta in Ben Tre is only one of the many Deltas of Mekong River. I can imagine the soundscape of the floating market in Cai Rang and Can Tho would be much more crowded, but it is out of the question. All I want is some peace and quiet to rest my mind. It proofed to be fun sitting alone with the calmness of the river before twilight.