Soak in the Han River, and stir the sand to catch the specialty “advance king”

When the tide is low, people along the Han River in Da Nang City stir sand and use a racket to catch phi. Immersed in the water for many hours continuously, hunters can earn several hundred thousand to cover their lives.

Around 4 pm every day, when the water of the Han River begins to drop, the group of Ms. Vo Thi Sang (65 years old) brings tools to the foot of Thuan Phuoc bridge (Hai Chau district), soak to catch the concubine.
Phi is an animal that lives both in salt water and brackish water. They are shaped like sea mussels but have thin shells, the largest size can be as long as a hand. They bury themselves, more than 30cm deep in the sand.
Because of its high nutrient content, it is difficult to catch, so it was considered a king’s product for a while. To this day, the conch is still considered a rare specialty of Da Nang.
When approaching the embankment close to the foot of the bridge, Ms. Sang put on her socks and waded out into the water about a meter deep, 20 meters from the shore, where there is a sandy beach below. This place is considered by her to have many non-living creatures.
According to Ms. Sang, April to July of the lunar calendar is the most fertile season. Forcing the Philippines to rely on the water, the water is low (the water is dry), the weather is still, then this mollusk will put up its trunk to feed. On rainy and windy days, it is impossible to determine where Phi is under the vast sand.
The tool for catching phi is quite simple, just a plastic bowl, a craft basket and a bamboo pole about 2m long, with a fixed net racket at one end.
In order to catch the phi, the worker must find a place where the sand mound has small holes to put a pole down, and use his feet to create a strong force to push the water to erode the sediment on the river bottom, the phi is lying in the sand and is swept up by the water flow into the racket. .
After that, the phi is passed from the racket to the basket for another person to shake and screen, remove sand, waste, and dead shells. The workers only catch the large cones, while the small ones are released back into the river.
“Seeing that, someone who is not good at scratching won’t be able to get into the racket. You have to swing your legs so that it rises up. If you are trying, you can’t use gloves because you have to leave your bare hands to feel the position of the player. phi”, Ms. Sang said.
The person who goes to the rake is always dirty from the tip of his hair to his heel, his face is always covered with mud. Soaking in the water for a long time, most of the hands and feet of the hunters are wrinkled and darkened.
“Those who follow this profession often wear sandals or socks to protect against shards of crockery, oyster shells and other discarded items. When picking up shells, if you are not careful, sharp objects will cut your skin right away. Underwater All evening, when I come back at night, I have severe pain in my limbs,” Ms. Sang confided.
Near evening, the water rises, the miners stop working. Before disembarking, they took advantage of sorting and washing them in baskets. Wiping the water stains on his face, Mr. Nguyen Van Bon (67 years old) boasted: “Today, I must have gained more than 2kg of intestines, sold 300,000 VND, enough to take care of tomorrow’s meals for the family”.
Soaking from 8am to 4pm, Mr. Cao Van Tu (35 years old) caught about 10kg of shells (about 4kg of intestines). “The big ones I just caught, the younger ones I left them to wait for the next crop,” said Tu, adding that this year’s run was less than previous years.
Phi caught it and could not sell it right away, but had to soak it for a day and night to release all the sand. After that, the eggs will be separated and brought to the market to sell for 150,000 VND(4$)/kg. Phi is processed into many delicious dishes such as steamed, cooked soup, fried, and cooked porridge…