The field trip in the An Giang province has the objective of sampling soils in rice fields. The Mekong delta is one of the most productive places on earth, but it is facing multiple issues due to pressure coming directly for the over-use of resources, as well as indirectly due to climate change.
We are checking the health of the soils in the rice fields as well as trying to understand how having 2 or 3 crops per year affects soil health and the use of fertilizers. To do this, we visit sites located around different districts, to sample a range of soils and conditions.
We are based in the main city, Long Xuyên, and most times we need to come back by night - we discover that Vietnam has rules regarding where the tourists can spend the nights (with police controls and everything).
So far, three things are clear:
1. In Vietnam people has a karaoke love/problem, as stated multiple times by our hosts :)
2. Vietnam has a fantastic coffee tradition, with a delicious flavour that I will never forget (and each cup has a very very sugary bottom, I never stir it!)
3. Everybody greets us weird-looking giants with a smile, they often stare, and say "hello".
One of the canals, with a boat full of rice (sometimes they are so full all the content of the boat s below the water level, it seems impossible but that is how they do it!).