A Day on the Mekong, Part II

The jungle village we passed through to reach the sampans that carried us to the river is dominated, in every aspect, by the coconut. The forest, of course, is thick with coconut palms. One local industry on the banks of the tributary makes coconut candy; another makes handicrafts from the shells; a third does something mysterious with the milk. One particularly entrepreneurial gentleman has proclaimed himself a high priest in a religion that worships–or at least reveres–the coconut. It is not clear if there is a coconut god, but if there is, he must surely be depicted with a pair of salad forks in his string-like hands.

Photographs below:

Preparing to Make Coconut Milk

Preparing to Make Coconut Milk

Making Coconut Candy

Making Coconut Candy

Milk Press

Milk Press

Starting to Make Portions

Starting to Make Portions

Stretching

Stretching

You Can't Chop this Fast

You Can’t Chop this Fast

Wrapping the Candy

Wrapping the Candy

Coconut Broom Maker

Coconut Broom Maker

Her Technique

Her Technique

It's All in the Feet

It’s All in the Feet

A Movie Set Along the Wide River

A Movie Set Along the Wide River

Founder of the Coconut Religion

Founder of the Coconut Religion

His Follower, Mother, and Maker of Small Forks

His Follower, Mother, and Maker of Small Forks

The Coconut Workshop

The Coconut Workshop

A Pile of Kitchen Implements in Process

A Pile of Kitchen Implements in Process

The Priest Surveys his Craft

The Priest Surveys his Craft

And Cuts into the Coconut

And Cuts into the Coconut

Rest Area and Storage

Rest Area and Storage

Follower, Son, and Maker of Spoons

Follower, Son, and Maker of Spoons

After the religio-craft showcase, we motored down the river to a waterside restaurant. Angling, vying for a parking space was an adventure of its own.

Valet Service

Valet Service

Then the food started coming, beginning with this novel presentation of a fried tilapia:

Vertical Tilapia Served at the Riverside Restaurant

Vertical Tilapia Served at the Riverside Restaurant

How You Eat It

How You Eat It

And now, lunch is on your own.

2 thoughts on “A Day on the Mekong, Part II

  1. Amazingly, that is not a melon. It’s a Sticky Rice ball. Inside is something like a custard and it’s surrounded by this large ball. The custard part occupies only a fraction of the volume of that ball. You simply poke the ball with your chopsticks, and it falls away in pieces like a cracked hard boiled egg. As you might imagine, we needed just as much advice on approaching this dish as we did for the fish.

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