The Mekong Delta

Can Tho Travel Blog

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The Mekong

Having had a good old ramble around Saigon and most of the sights, I was ready for a change of pace, so signed up for a one night two-day tour of the Mekong Delta region.

I couldn't believe how cheap the tour was, or how most in Vietnam seem to be - this was about a tenner for two days with accommodation, guide and meals included; compare that to around 40 quid average for a day-tour in Australia and it sounds even better. It soon became obvious that they make most of their money by taking a cut from Vietnamese sellers you 'encounter' along the way, almost at every turn. This wasn't to bother me too much, though, as, apart from things that I couldn't really see a relationship with the Mekong, such as model cyclos and dressing gowns, most things were of use - fresh fruit, cold drinks etc.

A Vietnamese lady

Unsurprisingly, we spent much of the trip on boats - either a motorised passenger on the Mekong, or a rowing boat manned by two Vietnamese women wearing conical hats down a canal. Occasional 'trekking', for want of a better word, was interspersed with visits to different sites with local people going about their day-to-day lives. Some of it was more staged than others - a family playing in a traditional Vietnamese-type band for instance - but some of it was really interesting, such as watching a family preparing rice noodles. And on our second day we visited a floating market, which, despite arriving before 8:00am, was actually grinding to a halt.

At first I thought I wasn't going to gel with our group. On board were two Japanese girls who spoke broken English and replied to everything I said with, "Aaaaah", a Russian girl who said she didn't understand me - but understood the Japanese girl's broken English! - a Vietnamese guy, and the only people I could communicate with, due to me mastering the language in Argentina, an elderly Spanish couple.

A Can Tho market
That night we went out for some food in Can Tho and my opinions changed. Our guide, who was a great lad, took us to a nice restaurant overlooking the lake to try some recommended Vietnamese food and local beer. But the Russian girl had snake, which, seen as we had put a massive one round our necks earlier, I thought was highly insensitive.

It was quite a relaxing couple of days, cruising down the Mekong, and was definitely worth way more than we paid. Not complaining, though.

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The Mekong
The Mekong
A Vietnamese lady
A Vietnamese lady
A Can Tho market
A Can Tho market
Loading the rice
Loading the rice
A monkey bridge
A monkey bridge
Rice-noodle production
Rice-noodle production
The floating market
The floating market
View from my hotel window
View from my hotel window
Loading the fruit
Loading the fruit
Faster, old lady!
"Faster, old lady!"
Can Tho
photo by: alanmica