The Mekong Delta
Can Tho Travel Blog› entry 69 of 117 › view all entries
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.
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.
It was quite a relaxing couple of days, cruising down the Mekong, and was definitely worth way more than we paid. Not complaining, though.