Mekong Delta

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Satellite photo of the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta ( Vietnamese names: Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long , "Nine Dragon River Delta"; Vùng đồng bằng Nam Bộ , "delta region of the southern part of the country" or miền Tây Nam Bộ , "the west of the southern part of the country") is a region in the southwest of Vietnam , which is shaped by the Mekong river delta and named after it. Here the Mekong flows into the South China Sea in a network of river arms that are connected by several canals . The river delta was created by sedimentation instead of a sea bay and is still growing annually by about 80 meters. It covers an area of ​​approximately 39,000 km². The flooded area varies seasonally.


In the Mekong Delta, there is low, but lush and green vegetation.

Through the fertile alluvial soil is intensive agriculture in the densely populated area possible each year ensures a production of 16 million tons of rice in three crops. This is one of the reasons why it is called "the southern rice chamber of Vietnam". Foods such as fish, tropical fruits, vegetables, sugar cane and coconuts are also produced.

The mangrove swamps around the province of Cà Mau form a contrast in the delta to the fertile and densely populated area adjacent to the north. The water landscape means that most of the inhabitants work, live and live on the water. Every hut, no matter how small, has access to a waterway, while a connection to a drivable road is far from everywhere.


There are eleven Vietnamese provinces in the Mekong Delta:

province Capital population
Tiền Giang Mỹ Tho 1,660,200
Bến Tre Bến Tre 1,337,800
Vĩnh Long Vĩnh Long 1,033,100
Tra Vinh Tra Vinh 1,002,600
Cần Thơ Cần Thơ 1,112,000
Sóc Trăng Sóc Trăng 1,234,300
Đồng Tháp Cao Lanh 1,626,000
Bạc Liêu Bạc Liêu 0.777,900
Cà Mau Cà Mau 1,181,200
To Giang Long Xuyen 2,146,800
Kien Giang Rach Gia 1,606,600


The population of the Delta consists mainly of Vietnamese. About 15 percent are Khmer and five percent are Hoa . The Cham minority group lives in some regions . A wide variety of religious members live together in this region such as B. Buddhists , followers of Cao Đài , Hòa Hảo , Catholics and Muslims .


The delta area of ​​the Mekong was only sparsely populated in the 18th and 19th centuries because of the large-scale epidemics. It initially belonged to the Khmer Kingdom and was later annexed to Vietnam by the Vietnamese Lê dynasty and finally by the Nguyễn dynasty . It is still called "Lower Cambodia" ( Kamputschea Krom ) by the Cambodians today . Large-scale rice cultivation did not begin until the French colonial era, with the cultivation area increased by about ten times by 1930. During the Vietnam War , the Mekong Delta was one of the main theaters of fighting between NLF guerrillas and US forces.

The Khmer Rouge claimed the Mekong Delta for the aforementioned historical reasons and repeatedly attacked the Vietnamese border area. Displaced Vietnamese were often murdered in the notorious Tuol Sleng prison (their photos are on display in the museum). This aggression was probably the most important reason for the invasion of Vietnamese troops in Cambodia in 1978, which led to the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge.


  • Fabrice G. Renaud, Claudia Kuenzer (Eds.): The Mekong Delta System: Interdisciplinary Analyzes of a River Delta. (Springer Environmental Science and Engineering) Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht 2012, ISBN 978-94-007-3961-1
  • Steffen Gebhardt, Juliane Huth, Nguyen Lam Dao, Achim Roth, Claudia Kuenzer: A comparison of TerraSAR-X Quadpol backscattering with RapidEye multispectral vegetation indices over rice fields in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. In: International Journal of Remote Sensing. 33 (24) 2012, pp. 7644-7661.
  • Claudia Kuenzer, Huadong Guo, Patrick Leinenkugel, Juliane Huth, Xinwu Li, Stefan Dech : Flood Mapping and Flood Dynamics of the Mekong Delta: ENVISAT-ASAR-WSM Based Time Series Analyzes . (PDF) In: Remote Sensing, 5 (2), February 2013, pp. 687–715
  • Patrick Leinenkugel, Thomas Esch, Claudia Kuenzer: Settlement detection and impervious surface estimation in the Mekong delta using optical and SAR data. In: Remote Sensing of Environment. 115 (12) 2011, pp. 3007-3019.
  • Yoshikazu Takaya: A Physiographic Classification of Rice Land in the Mekong Delta. (PDF) Southeast Asian Studies, Volume 12, No. 2, September 1974, pp. 135-142

Web links

Commons : Mekong Delta  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Mekong Delta  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich Schwarzenauer, Lois Hechenblaikner (photos): Vietnam. Munich and Berlin: Bucher, 1992. ISBN 3-7658-0771-0 . Page 133

Coordinates: 10 ° 0 '  N , 105 ° 48'  E