Mighty Mekong Delta - 4th September 2008 @ 12:09 pm «   »

Location: Cambodia, Vietnam : Mighty Mekong Delta

The pickup was at 08:00 to start our Mekong Delta 3 day/2 night trip. The Mekong Delta is the area around the Mekong river that connects Vietnam with Cambodia and is famous for floating markets selling fruits and vegetables.

The first day of the tour was packed with lots of really interesting things and beautiful boat rides. It took 2 hours on the bus from Saigon to My Tho City where we got a motorized boat along the river to a little island where we stopped to taste some tropical fruit at a local orchard. From there we got into rowing boats and cruised through small canals, full of coconut trees, and stopped off to taste some honey tea and coconut treats at a honey farm in the forest. They served a light lunch there and afterwards we cruised further to a village where they make a living producing coconut candy in a small local factory. Later that afternoon we arrived in Chan Tho and our group checked into a little hotel. We had some free time for dinner, so we decided to do our own thing and walked into town where we found a nice little restaurant with a balcony overlooking the riverfront and busy street-front.

Very early the next morning our bus left at 07:00 after a quick, very basic breakfast at the hotel, to visit the famous Cai Rang and Phong Dien floating markets – the biggest in the Mekong Delta. We were taken to the markets by boat and it was fascinating to see how a whole family live on a small boat and make a living selling fruits or vegetables to other boats. It was a bit disappointing that it was more of wholesale operation and very different from the small, colourful boats you always see on pictures. Also, we were hoping to actually buy something, but that was not possible because we only stayed on the sidelines.

We spent about 1 hour slowly cruising through the 2 markets and then visited a small home factory where they make rice noodles in the back yard. After lunch we headed to Chau Doc and stopped at a crocodile farm where they actually only breed the crocodiles for their skin and meat. You can walk around, choose a crocodile and they will kill it for you – all included in the price (the price being a secret we were told).

In Chao Doc we had time to visit the Sam Mountain (just a small hill really) and enjoy the beautiful view from the top of the rice fields after having a walk through the Queen Lady Temple. Our hotel was situated a little outside town, so our bus dropped us at a local restaurant in town and most of the group stayed there to enjoy their famous fish hotpot dish (which Marizanne ordered and it was delicious!). We were about 20 people in the gourp and we met a really nice French Canadian couple, Phillipe and Karine, from Quebec. The bus then took us back to our hotel where we had no aircon with only a pathetic little fan mounted on the wall. Again, it was terribly hot, so the fan did very little to help and we were very happy to get out the next morning for breakfast.. slightly dehydrated.

After breakfast we took another boat trip to a floating village where they spesialise in fish farming. We then stopped to visit a Cham monority village where they weave traditional scarfs and sarongs. Unfortunately that brought our sightseeing to an end and we boarded the boat again for a 3 hour trip to the Cambodian border.

A girl from the travel company took all our passports and went ahead by motorbike to sort out our visas, so by the time we arrived at the border, we already had the visas and Vietnamese exit stamps in our passports. Passport control on the Cambodian side was very quick and we then took the boat again for the last 4 hours. The boat was very basic with nothing but a local women selling drinks and snacks and a small toilet, so we were very glad to finally get off it, but then we still had to take a 1.5 hour bus ride to Phnom Penh. The bus station was at the lake side, but all the hotels and guest houses seemed a little too dodgy for our liking, so we took a tuk-tuk (motorbike taxi) into town where we found a nice enough small and quiet hotel. A good end to an great, but exhausting few days in the delta.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

One Response to “Mighty Mekong Delta”  
Lauren Says:

Hi! Sorry I’ve been so scarce lately. Have a stinking cold, and we are moving house at the moment. Taking a bit of strain. Not to worry:) Photos are fantastic! Will email soon.