Discovering the Soul of South-East Asia
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This episode takes us to the vast farming lands that the waters of the Mekong irrigate throughout the year and more particularly in the South where the plains naturally become nourishing fields. It is a basin covering over 2,5 million square kilometres giving life to an utmost important “green” industry: the children of this agriculture are of course called rice, but also fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The most impressive beneficiaries of the river’s lavishness are the orchids and the lotuses. All along the Southern part of the course of the stream, the climate is very warm and favourable to the production of a large diversity of fruits. They are sold on the great market of Bangkok or, in a more traditional way, on the boats of the numerous floating markets.
The climate of the Mekong region is ideal for rice growing. Farming methods are different according to the various countries and ethnic groups.
We will witness rice picking -Vietnam and Thailand-, producing of organic fruits -Thailand and also horticulture in China and Thailand. The latter is one of the most important exporter of orchids, over 70 % of the world production. China grows all sorts of flowers and most of the big flower markets also work all night. Modernity and mass production are almost everywhere, as can be noticed in the gigantic flower market in Dounan, China, a miracle of a digital auction place. But in Can Tho City, in Vietnam, we will also follow the steps of a fruit seller working on one of the many floating markets where most of the deals have kept a human size.