Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ho Chi Minh Vietnam – Part 2

Mekong River Delta tour

There were several tours available through the hotel and we signed up for a day tour of the Mekong River delta. We were picked up by a van around 730 am; the van then went to other hotels to pick up other guests who were also joining the tour. We were then brought to Pham Ngu Lao Street where we transferred to a bigger bus. It was about a 3-hr drive from Ho Chi Minh to Cai-Be; we had a short rest stop mid-way. During the drive our English-speaking tour guide entertained and educated us with stories about life on the Mekong River delta.

Drive to Cai-Be

Rest Stop

Cai-Be Port

We arrived at Cai-Be where we then boarded the boat that would take us along the Mekong River; for this part of the tour, a different English-speaking guide accompanied us.  He gave us facts about the Mekong River and told us stories about life on the river delta. We saw the Cai-Be floating market and our guide explained how each boat carried a different product. The boats displayed their product at the end of long poles so that customers would know what the boat carried. He also explained why most of the boats had “eyes” painted on the bow; the people believed that the “eyes” help the boat find their way on the river.

Cai-Be floating market

We got off the boat and walked to a village where we were shown how they made puffed rice, rice paper and coconut candy. We then walked to a bee farm where we sampled their honey-kumquat tea. From the village we once again boarded the boat which took us to another village where we had our lunch (this was included in the tour package). 

Making puffed rice

Rice paper

Coconut candy

Honey-kumquat tea at the bee farm

Walking through village

After lunch, we were divided into groups of four because we had to take smaller boats down the narrower part of the river.  Vietnamese ladies rowed the boats for us. When we got to the wider part of the river we transferred to the bigger boat again and proceeded to Vinh Long City (capital of Vinh Long province). In Vinh Long we walked through the local market to get to the waiting buses that took us back to Ho Chi Minh. 

Rowing through the river

Vinh Long market

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