Mekong Delta Day.
Up again for a 0800 departure for a full day Mekong Delta Tour. We were the last on the bus so were up the back. Our guide today was Frank. He was a nice young guy not as colourful as yesterday’s guide but still very good.
We travelled to the Vinh Trang pagoda and stopped off for 45 minutes to check it out. The 3 x Buddha’s here were massive. It was kind of strange as it seemed like an out of the way type of place.
Then we boarded the bus and moved on to the wharf for the boat ride. Boarded the vessel, the skipper had to crank start the engine in his junk boat, it was amazing and I am surprised the guy still has all is fingers. He then puts the timber cover on the engine that does little for sound attenuation.
We then cruised the Mekong River and checked out the fishing villages and houses along the bank, before we pulled up for lunch. The only food that was part included in the price of the tour was number 19 on the menu. So that is what we got, 4 x number 19. It came out sort of weird dried pork, egg, vegies and rice. To my surprise the pork was nice so we ate up. Checked out the farm we were on and then boarded our boat again and travelled to another island. On this island they made coconut candy.
Before a tour of candy making we got to check out the bee hive and then taste the honey straight from the hive. I put my finger in the comb and had a taste, it was delicious. We then moved over to the coconut candy and was shown how they make the candy and wrap it in rice paper roll. The kids working there doing the rolling were very young. We then moved over to the snake wine.
Met another aussie couple with kids similar age to ours. They were nice and we had a great chat. The snake wine had a cobra eating a scorpion inside it. Decided to have a go regardless, it smelt like tequila, was very smooth and I would say a smooth tequila would be the best description. We then moved on to our sampan boats (like a canoe) and rowed up the natural canals to the fruit farm. Here we had some afternoon tea local fruit and honey tea and then treated to some local music.
We then took a short stroll back to the bus. The guide then decided to give us some history on the Mekong and Vietnam’s biggest exports. To our surprise Vietnam is 2nd in the world for both rice and coffee to Thailand and Brazil respectively and 1st in the world for black pepper. He then proceeded with some ‘over 18’ jokes about bananas, lady boys and how the size of the motorbike costs more in Vietnam. If you have a bike over 175cc you pay 131% tax for that bike, people who have a car are the same so they are apparently wealthy.
We then arrived back to HCMC approx. 1700. We returned Chua An Cao St for dinner as it was so good and then returned to the hotel for a movie. 2 x big days in a row HCMC or Saigon, depending on who you are talking to.