2019.5.21 - selfie, the rumps, near polz
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A £10 Tour of the Mekong Delta

Making Rice Paper in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Whilst staying in Ho Chi Minh City, Harmony and I wanted to take a trip to the Mekong Delta. It's relatively easy to organise, as most hostels have an option to do it. That's what we did anyway and it was only about £10! The company that we went with is called YTC. There were highs and lows, but I can still recommend it!

The day started with an early alarm clock, breakfast at our hostel and a short wait for someone to show us to our bus. We were one of the first few on, but it soon filled up with other people doing either a one or two day tour. The tour guide on our bus ran us through our itinerary, but didn't mention anything about a rowing boat. I was truly gutted as the boats are a staple to the Mekong Delta and it was the activity I was most looking forward to. It really dampened the mood for me, but made me overjoyed when we actually got around to doing it in the afternoon!

After a four-hour journey on bumpy roads, we arrived in Cai Be. It was a surprisingly nice village with many amazingly colourful temples. We boarded our wooden motorboat and found ourselves on one of the most important rivers in the world, as it brings trade to a lot of the continent (which is probably why the village of Cai Be is so nice). As well as that, the river also provides ample conditions for forestry (producing building materials, medicine and food) and allows for fishing. Also, the area now benefits a lot from tourism.

Motor Boat Exploring the Mekong Delta River, Vietnam

On our tour, we were told that we were going to visit one of the delta’s many floating markets. However, we weren’t able to properly experience it because “you have to buy in bulk, so it’s not for tourists.” Instead, we just plodded past whilst identifying which boat sells what thanks to the items they hang off of a bamboo pole. We then stopped at a traditional Mekong house. Here, they made coconut candies, rice paper and popcorn. Our big group crowded around the action, which made it hard to photograph or even see what was going on. Fortunately, I stayed at each station after the crowd moved on and could get the shots I wanted. As the natural light spilled through an open window, I snapped a portrait that I'm really happy with (top of this blog post).

When we were shown how the popcorn was made, the guide was really impressed with the technique that was being used but, honestly, the only thing interesting about it was how sand was used opposed to oil and the fact that they used rice shells for the fire. The coconut candies that we tried were flavoured with peanuts and were so nice that Harmony and I had to buy more! We had the choice of many different flavours including coffee, chocolate and toffee, but we played it save and just went for the peanut flavour again. There were about 20 sweets in a £1 pack, so they kept us going throughout the majority of the morning.