Indochina Day 2: Cruising the Mekong Delta

This is Day 2 of my solo Indochina trip. If you want to read about Day 1 where I went on a bike tour to see the city and taste the best street foods of Vietnam, click here.

I booked my Mekong Delta tour at the hotel for 420000 VND and was picked up at around 8AM. I met a couple of Pinoys on the tour who were also staying at the same hotel as me. And we clicked instantly.

The friends I met on the trip

We travelled for two hours along the provincial roads of South Vietnam through paddy rice fields and pineapple plantations until we reached the town of My Tho.

The port in My Tho going to the Unicorn Island

We road on a local motor boat going to the Unicorn Island where we saw some bee farm and tasted some of their honey bee products.

One of the bee farms
Honey tea served with lime

I even befriended a snake! Don’t strangle me please.

We’re friends, OK?

The we walked down the village and took a rowing boat along the natural water canal of Mekong Delta. The water is murky brown and the passageway is over crowded.

Crowded river. EDSA traffic levels.

The scenery is so beautiful but there is something unauthentic about it. It has adapted a touristy function. Although there are still some houses that are built along the river, I believe they exist for the tourists to see.

Cruising the Mekong River
Boating, the Vietnamese way wearing their traditional hat

We continued our journey to Ben Tre Province where we visited a handmade coconut candy shop. There were a lot of flavors combining with the coconut flavor including coffee, pandan and durian.

How to make a coconut candy
Workers wrapping the finished candies into their individual packaging

We even tasted various wines that were fermented in a jar like honey wine, rice wine and banana wine. But the most exotic one is snake wine which was so fishy and icky!

Snake wine. Ugh.

We did a horse ride going to our next destination. We would have taken a boat but it was low tide and the boat couldn’t navigate without enough water to keep it afloat.

Horse ride going to lunch! Yay! We’re famished.

We passed by some shops selling various stuff made from coconuts! They’re very innovative and functional. I was wondering why nobody has thought to make a business out of it when we have a lot of coconuts back home.

Coconut containers. Very cool!
Another genius idea. Back roller massager

Finally lunch came (yay!) and we were able to rest for some time, see some crocodiles and refresh ourselves before we headed back home to HCMC.

Whole fried fish

When we got back to HCMC, my new friends and I went to the famous Saigon Square where they sell factory runs of different brands with factories here in Vietnam such as North Face, Kipling, Lacoste and other world brands.

North Face bags! 

Factory runs are those items that didn’t pass the Quality Control required for exportation. They sell those items for a much lower price. It was a heaven for bag and wallet fanatics as you get your original items (with minimum defects, I can’t even see one on the stuff that I bought) for quarter of the retail price.

They even have my favorite bag, Tumi!

We had dinner at the Saigon Street Food near the Ben Than Market, had coffee at one of the numerous cafe scattered in the city and said our goodbyes.

The Street Food Market near Ben Than

This is the problem with the people I meet on the road. At some point, no matter how much we’ve bonded, we will have to say goodbye hoping that someday we would meet again. Anyway, I have added them on facebook and gotten their contact number. Great thing with social media and technology nowadays.

Instant friends.

The next day, I would be leaving for Cambodia.

From this trip:

Ho Chi Minh City  1.1 + 1.2 + 2 +  HCMC-PP  3  +  Phnom Penh  4

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