Rice.  And more rice.  And still more rice.  Rice paddies are everywhere.  No wonder it is one of the top exports from Vietnam.  It comes in all color and there are literally 100′s of varieties.  When I was a kid, I thought  that Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice was the only variety, but then I learned that there was another – Minute Rice.  Who knew?

It’s fascinating to learn the methods used to plant rice and how it is so dependent on the weather – too much rain, and the newly sown rice will just float away.  Too little and it won’t germinate and grow.  It looks like back-breaking work, being out in  the fields all day.  Just about all of the work is done by hand, although every once in a while we saw  a water buffalo or two but I’m not sure if they were helping or eating up the profits.

Vietnam used to be one of the poorest nations in the world, but this started to change in the 1990′s and early 2000.  The credit goes to the leadership of Vietnam realizing that  collective farming  was not working and economic reform was needed.  Once Again the Free Market Economy Triumphs!.