Mekong Delta - Fun on the Water!

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 24 › view all entries
Breakfasting at Bich Duyen - luckily A brings splenda for our coffee. :)

At breakfast, met another Australian family on holiday.  The college kid was so sweet - he said I didn't look a day over 20.  What a charmer!  It could also have been the fact that I tied my hair in braids and looked like a Chinese peasant girl, but whatever.  I'll take compliments wherever I can!  :)

Anh picked us up for the Mekong Delta tour.   We drove out of the city for about 2 hours.  Anh showed us ponds filled with lotuses and morning glories - that are harvested and sold.  There were also fish ponds where fish were farmed.  The Vietnamese seem to be very resourceful folk, but I guess they had to be to survive...

Our first stop was in a tiny village where we watched a family make rice noodles.

More motorcycles...
  It reminded me of my grandpa's farm back in Taiwan - very primitive country living, surrounded by your entire extended family and family livestock (hogs and chickens).  Then we headed to a buddhist temple - pretty but strange mix of architectural styles with a huge buddha in the front.  (sorry - can't remember the name...)

Afterwards we hopped onto our own boat.  Anh explained to us the different islands, the suspension bridge that was being built; showed us the various fish farms on the water, etc.  He also claimed the water was used by local women for bathing and that legend had it that the water would make women beautiful; but it was hard to believe him when looking into the brown murky waters.  The ride however was very nice, with a cool breeze.

Rice farmers - the other tourists got in the way...
  Our boat's first stop was on Unicorn Island to a fruit orchard to sample exotic fruits and listen to folk music.  It was quite pleasant.  We got grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, jackfruit and papaya.  I really loved the papaya (so sweet); the jackfruit was interesting - I had never had it before.  Anh explained that they often dipped the more tart fruit into salt and chili powder to balance out the taste - we tried it with the grapefruit and pineapple - very good!  (I have noticed that pineapple isn't that good in Vietnam or Bali - stick with the mangos, papayas, etc.).

When we returned to the boat, our captain provided us with coconut water to drink - straight from a coconut!  yum!  They seem to be intent on feeding us all day!  At some point our boat stalled .

Little fields of lotus and morning glory.
.. we weren't sure why until Anh mentioned that our captain had disappeared.  Apparently, he had stripped and jumped into the murky water to fix the boat.  For a half second I thought we would be stranded!  But our hero captain discovered the culprit jamming the engine and emerged victorious from the waters.  :)  We drove past an island where the "coconut religion" was founded .... didn't really understand it other than that they believed coconuts were super healthy ....

The snacking continued with a visit to a coconut candy establishment - I of course bought a bunch as gifts (can't resist) - anyways, they were quite tasty.  We got fresh samples, still warm.  They were also selling novelty items such as liquor bottles with snakes or geckos in them.

Cute kitties at the rice noodle tour.
  creepy looking.  They tried to get me to try snake wine but I declined - I had snake before - don't see the need to try just for the thrill.  Anyways, I don't need the wine to boost my virility.  :)  I did try some coconut wine - very smooth and light, not harsh like moonshine.

We took a cute horse cart ride through a village - so cheezy but I loved it! The little horse was quite powerful!  After "exerting" ourselves sitting on our fat butts on a cart we were offered more refreshments - this time tea with honey and kumquat juice.  Very refreshing.  They also had pet snakes you could "play" with.  Obviously another tourist gimmick.  But sometimes you just have to accept and revel in it.

Next, we took a leisurely sampan ride through beautiful, leaf lined waters towards our lunch destination - Hao Ai - at the entrance a water buffalo was 90% immersed in the water cooling off.

Rice husks.
  He was very puzzled when we all took photos of him.  The locals thought we were silly.  Here we had a lovely set lunch - fried elephant fish, which were made into spring rolls, various fried veggies, sticky rice, soup, braise pork, sauteed morning glory, pineapples.  Quite nice - we even saw one of the servers catching the fish with a net (i think it's for show...but I'm cynical that way).

After another crazy drive into the city, we bid farewell to our guide and driver.  I really enjoyed the attentive tours we received - it's a bit expensive to hire your own driver/guide, but sometimes it's worth not sitting in a hot bus, waiting for everyone on the tour to finish, etc.

We had a few beers, ice coffees; strolled through town again (we are getting better at crossing streets now) and ended up in what we thought was a sports bar; but after a while we suspected it was some sort of "escort bar" - lots of english guys with scantily clad asian women.

Anh explaining rice-noodle making.
  hmmmm....  After we realized we were probably not welcome there we went to dinner at Vietnam House - a recommendation by Anh since we couldn't get into Lemongrass, a more popular sister restaurant.  While the food was pretty at Vietnam House, nothing was particularly good other than the fish cooked in clay pot (so tender and sweet) and the sauteed morning glory.

Near our hostel, there's a bar literally called "Bar" with a blue neon sign.  A and I had decided we would check it out - so we had drinks there on the 2nd floor and watched the busy life downstairs until we got sleepy. 

Tomorrow - onto Hanoi!

travelman727 says:
Doris, sounds like another lovely day in sensational Southeast Asia :-D
Posted on: Apr 12, 2008
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Breakfasting at Bich Duyen - lucki…
Breakfasting at Bich Duyen - luck…
More motorcycles...
More motorcycles...
Rice farmers - the other tourists …
Rice farmers - the other tourists…
Little fields of lotus and morning…
Little fields of lotus and mornin…
Cute kitties at the rice noodle to…
Cute kitties at the rice noodle t…
Rice husks.
Rice husks.
Anh explaining rice-noodle making.
Anh explaining rice-noodle making.
Making rice noodles.
Making rice noodles.
Hard at work.
Hard at work.
Random shot of piggies.
Random shot of piggies.
Another pig shot - just for fun.
Another pig shot - just for fun.
In front of the temple...cant rem…
In front of the temple...can't re…
Pretty central fountain at the tem…
Pretty central fountain at the te…
Another angle of the fountain.
Another angle of the fountain.
Female buddha.
Female buddha.
Pretty lotus.
Pretty lotus.
I think these represented monks th…
I think these represented monks t…
Wood carvings made by artisans fro…
Wood carvings made by artisans fr…
Gigantic Buddha!
Gigantic Buddha!
Getting on our boat for the Mekong…
Getting on our boat for the Mekon…
We got our own boat!
We got our own boat!
The front of our boat.
The front of our boat.
A enjoying the breeze.
A enjoying the breeze.
A suspension bridge being built.
A suspension bridge being built.
Red snapper fish farm.
Red snapper fish farm.
Island of the coconut religion.
Island of the "coconut religion".
Yeah - our first stop!
Yeah - our first stop!
Docking on Unicorn Island to tour …
Docking on Unicorn Island to tour…
Look at the giant grapefruit!
Look at the giant grapefruit!
Ive never seen dragon fruit growi…
I've never seen dragon fruit grow…
Crossing the monkey bridge at the …
Crossing the monkey bridge at the…
Rickety little bridge - i wonder i…
Rickety little bridge - i wonder …
Crazy large jackfruit!
Crazy large jackfruit!
Our fruit sampling: grapefruit, pa…
Our fruit sampling: grapefruit, p…
Little girl singing folk songs.
Little girl singing folk songs.
Young lady singing folk songs.
Young lady singing folk songs.
My first bite of jackfruit.
My first bite of jackfruit.
Posing near the brown water ... ca…
Posing near the brown water ... c…
Coconut water - refreshing in the …
Coconut water - refreshing in the…
Our captain emerges from his swim!
Our captain emerges from his swim!
Boy - i look sweaty!
Boy - i look sweaty!
Churning coconut milk for coconut …
Churning coconut milk for coconut…
Making coconut candy.
Making coconut candy.
Crazy liquor with snakes, lizards,…
Crazy liquor with snakes, lizards…
Long creepy snake.
Long creepy snake.
Another bridge - obviously built f…
Another bridge - obviously built …
Lounging on a hammock - they are e…
Lounging on a hammock - they are …
Cute!
Cute!
Dont we look like peasants?
Don't we look like peasants?
Hee hee - definitely like peasants.
Hee hee - definitely like peasants.
View from our horse ride.
View from our horse ride.
I think Im on the horse cart here…
I think I'm on the horse cart her…
View from our horse ride.
View from our horse ride.
On our sampan boat.
On our sampan boat.
Posing
Posing
On our sampan boat.
On our sampan boat.
More posing
More posing
Doesnt our guide look super happy?
Doesn't our guide look super happy?
Shy Ladies - if you touch the fern…
Shy Ladies - if you touch the fer…
Our lunch place.
Our lunch place.
Smart water buffalo hiding from th…
Smart water buffalo hiding from t…
Fried veggies and stick rice treat.
Fried veggies and stick rice treat.
Woman making us our fish spring ro…
Woman making us our fish spring r…
Our lunch spread.
Our lunch spread.
Catching fish (and then putting th…
Catching fish (and then putting t…
Honey tea with limes.
Honey tea with limes.
Tourist with a snake.
Tourist with a snake.
Anh brought over the snake for A.
Anh brought over the snake for A.
The snake kept making a beeline fo…
The snake kept making a beeline f…
I thought this was heavy, but A sa…
I thought this was heavy, but A s…
A - super strong!
A - super strong!
Farmhouse.
Farmhouse.
Random street scene.
Random street scene.
Locals doing their thing.
Locals doing their thing.
Afternoon refreshment - i think my…
Afternoon refreshment - i think m…
Me with my 70 cent beer.
Me with my 70 cent beer.
Making waffles on the street.
Making waffles on the street.
Yummy pastries.
Yummy pastries.
A park in Saigon.
A park in Saigon.
Pond at the park - later a family …
Pond at the park - later a family…
Looking at Saigon river across the…
Looking at Saigon river across th…
Cant remember what she was sellin…
Can't remember what she was selli…
Hanging out at what we later disco…
Hanging out at what we later disc…
Vietnam House.
Vietnam House.
Enjoying a cocktail - generally no…
Enjoying a cocktail - generally n…
Pork on rice vermicelli.
Pork on rice vermicelli.
Seafood soup, stir-fried morning g…
Seafood soup, stir-fried morning …
Shrimp on rice noodles with shrimp…
Shrimp on rice noodles with shrim…
Spring rolls with shrimp.
Spring rolls with shrimp.
Fried shrimp ball.
Fried shrimp ball.
The crazy motorcycles continue int…
The crazy motorcycles continue in…
The Bar near our hostel.
The "Bar" near our hostel.
Notes at Bar.
Notes at "Bar".
View from Bar.
View from "Bar".
Relaxing at Bar.
Relaxing at "Bar".