The Geography of Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the ten countries that compose Southeast Asia It is bordered by China on the north, Cambodia and Laos on the west, the Gulf of Tonkin to the northeast, the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east.
“two baskets of rice slung on a pole.” The baskets are the deltas of the Red River in the north and the Mekong in the south, and the carrying pole is a series of mountain chains along the western border.
Houses on the Red River and Mekong Delta are elevated on poles as an adaptation to thwart the powerful rivers that regularly overflow their banks.
The rice kernels provide food, while the rest of the plant is utilized for making flour, beer, wine, fuel, fertilizer, straw mats, and garments—nothing goes to wasteRice is Life
The twelfth moon for potato growing,
the first for beans, the second for eggplant.
In the third, we break the land
to plant rice in the fourth while the rains are strong.
The man plows, the woman plants,
and in the fifth: harvest, and the gods are good—
an acre yields five full baskets this year.
I grind and pound the paddy, strew husks
to cover manure,
and feed the hogs with bran.
Next year, if the land is extravagant,
I shall pay the taxes for you.
In plenty or in want, there will still be you and me,
always the two of us.
Isn’t that better than always prospering, alone?