The Mekong Delta
Can Tho Travel Blog› entry 19 of 23 › view all entries
Iâ€™ve seen lots of pictures and images of the famed Mekong Delta, and had always dreamed of stepping in a boat and watch life at the riverbanks of the Mekong. My husband and I had booked a two day-tour through the Mekong Delta at Asian Trail (for the Dutch among us: you can book this at vietnamonline.nl) before we arrived in Vietnam.
At eight in the morning a tour bus including English speaking guide (one we could actually understand!) picked us up at our hotel, and after a few more pick-ups at other hotels, we were on our way.
About an hour later we reached the docks of the small town of My Tho, where we stepped onto a small boat.
At My Tho we started our actual Mekong tour, and all we had to do was sit back and watch. We saw dilapidated, but charming houses and small shops selling rice and vegetables. After a while we passed a huge church, which was completely out of style to the rest of the environment. I suppose we have some overzealous missionaries to thank for that. The church marked the village of Cai Be, where we passed a small floating market. Since it was around midday, there wasnâ€™t much of activity left. We saw a few large boats where one could buy fruit and vegetables.
We continued in a stream a bit more narrow and watched how women rowed for one riverbank to another, taking passengers (sometimes including their bicycles) across the river for a small fee.
It was obvious the small farm and adjacent houses were accustomed to tourist stopping by, the further you looked, the more souvenir stalls popped in sight. It didnâ€™t bother us, we enjoyed tasting the local candy and buying some snacks, and these people had found a way to make a nice living.
Back on the boat, we watched fishermen, women working in a brick factory or doing laundry in the river and the inevitable waving children for the rest of the afternoon. I must have taken hundreds of pictures, just to remember every image I saw.
In the evening we arrived at Can Tho, the biggest city in the Mekong Delta.
We first walked to Sao Hom, Lonely Planet describes this place as an atmospheric and alluring spot with Vietnamese, International and fusion dishes. Once we had arrived, we saw that the place was packed to the last table, even though itâ€™s quite spacious. Since we only saw western faces, combined in large groups, we decided not to wait for a table, but look elsewhere.
We decided to walk back to Nam Bo, both our guide and Lonely Planet said this was a great place to eat. But we soon found out that this place was also completely booked, all by western people.
Eventually we ended up at Hop Pho CafÃ©, just around the corner of our hotel, and had a great dinner. The place is huge, with a designer look, and we were the only western people there. Things worked out for the best if you ask me!