We joined a Mekong Delta Tour with Kim Travel via our hotel. It was a whole day tour and the price was 1,090,00 VND per person, it included air-con minivan transportation, experienced English speaking guide, boat trips, lunch, all entrance fees, cycling around the village, fruits, traditional music performance, rowing boat and mineral water.
The 3rd day morning, we got picked up at 8am at the hotel.
Normally, the journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta is 2 hours, but the day we went to was a week before the Chinese New Year, a lot of Vietnamese were driving back to their home town for the New Year, so there was a bit traffic and we took about 3 hours to reach Mekong Delta.
Before an hour reaching the Mekong River, there was a “Break Time”. We stopped at this restaurant which has a little garden in the middle. We were not the only car stopped-by and took a break, there were a few cars already and some other tourists. I guess this is the regular rest point for the tours. We got about 15 minutes for the toilet break, walked around in the garden and had a look of some interesting souvenirs.
Finally, after 3 hours driving, we arrived!!
We got on a boat like this.
Our tour guide and the boat driver.
The first stop was the Fruit Floating Market. This is the wholesale fruit market . Each day the busiest time on the river is the morning, because many people come here to buy the fresh fruits for their restaurants or to sell in the market.
On the way to the Floating Market, we saw many local houses along the Mekong river. (and that big boat which was carrying a wheat mountain with a doggy guard on the top.)
Next stop, Local Wet Market. It was a typical local wet market, nothing really special. We went there in the afternoon, so the market wasn’t that busy. But the most annoying thing there was people were allowed to shop with their bikes in the market! The walking space was already narrow, almost every step we had to stop and let the bikes passed by.
After the Local Wet Market, our tour guide led us to this place which had a few different traditional workshops. I will share some of the stations below:
All candies are cut and packed by hand.
We tried a small cup of the snake wine…tasted like Chinese white wine and was quite strong, it contains 41% alcohol.
Besides the snake wine, we also tried the rice wine.
It is kind of the same concept of making pop corn but just using rice instead.
They added sugar to cook with the pop rice so that the rice stick together. Then the sweet sticky pop rice will be placed on a wooden table to cool down and be cut into a brick shape.
Honey Jasmine Tea
After all these workshops, we headed to this place “Nam On” to enjoy the traditional music performance.
The performers explained to us the music they sang was a love story.
Besides the music, they also served us jasmine tea with some fresh fruits like watermelon, pineapple, jack fruit and guava.
After the music, we got the chance to take a short sampan trip. The waterway was a bit out of expectation (a bit stinky and rubbish floating around), but was an interesting experience.
Finally, we had our lunch.
This is the famous Vietnam Elephant Fish. The restaurant staff helped us to turn it into spring rolls.
The last activity of the tour was biking around the village. Basically, the restaurant we had our lunch was in the “village”, and biking was an optional. If you don’t feel like to bike, you can just chill on the hammock. The restaurant provided the bikes but those were a bit old and getting rotted. The path for biking was narrow and rocky, not really pleasant for riding a bicycle.
The Lunch plus riding bicycle was 1 hour. Then we headed back to the pier and took the minivan back to the city.
Finally, we were back to the city. The minivan dropped us off in front of our hotel.
After a long day, we had our dinner and decided to have a relaxing night on this rooftop bar called “Broma Not-A-Bar“.
It was located on the fourth floor of a french colonial building.
We could see the Financial Center from the bar.