Published: March 13th 2008March 13th 2008
The famous hat...
The first thing I noticed in Vietnam was that everyone that was sitting on a motorbike was actually wearing a helmet! I was impressed. In Australia it's the law to wear a helmet everytime you get on a bicycle but I was surprised to see people here weating helmets too. Only a few wear helmets in Thailand and Cambodia...
Anyway, HCMC is an interesting place. We found some good food there too which made me very happy but the actual adventure of finding it was quite frustrating at times. Again, being a vegetarian is difficult here, you don't get the variety of food you need. It's always the same vegies (asian greens... I'm so over them!) and sometimes tofu. But admittedly, we've had some pretty good chow in HCMC in the end.
The trip to the Mekong Delta was a winner! We booked a tour with Sinh Cafe and it was USD 25 for a 2 day trip including accommodation. That was a sweet deal considering we just paid USD 20 for a day trip around Da Lat (read more soon). It was great to just sit back in your seat and listen to the guide explain things about history
and all sorts of topics without having to read through a guide book or other info material. Le, the guide, spoke ok English and tried to squeeze in a joke every now and then, gave you enough info and the group was mixed too. From a Vietnamese family to couples from China and other from seemingly everywhere. The two days were well organized even though some parts just seemed to stretch like a rubber band (like a lunch break in the middle of somewhere with nothing to do!).
We got to visit a rice making facility and saw a lady make rice paper. It was very interesting, we got to taste it too but it wasn't my cuppa tea... The coconut candy was quite yummy though but you'll need a good dentist if you plan on eating that stuff more often than just like... once a year or so!
We also got to see how they make pop rice (or puffed rice as I would call it), quite amazing, so simple but so yummy (if you like coconut milk and ginger).
Greatest way to see the Delta is obviously from a boat... and we got to do that quite a
bit. It's great cuz you're like right there and go past peoples homes where they are in the front yard washing their dirty clothes in the even dirtier Mekong River by hand...
We stopped in Can Tho for the night, hotel was quite good (but all the backpackers were sent up to the 4th floor!!!) but breakfast was not the bomb. I stashed like 3 bananas in my bag for the day cuz they looked like the only edible thing.
We took off to visit the floating markets but I was a bit disappointed cuz we didn't actually see anyone buying or selling things. But it was still good. After that we went down some small canals of the river and stopped to eat some fruit somewhere (which was one of those long stops) before we headed back to the bus and back towards HCMC.
Without making it too long this time, it was a good trip if you only have limited time to see the Delta. Well worth it. We always like to do things on our own but it was also an interesting experience to be like a sheep and wabble along with the rest of the
herd for a bit. And because it is such a mighty area as well, it was good to have a shepard...
Having said that, enjoy whatever way you choose to travel down there, it's beautiful and massive and the river is much dirtier than I had imagined too...
See you next time...
There are more photos below