VIETNAM | The Mekong Delta Day Tour from Ho Chi Minh | Lakad Pilipinas

Mekong Delta Day Tour From Ho Chi Minh

Balance is not with me. I trip without cause. I fall off bicycles. I wobble on wooden planks. My body simply isn’t too keen on being too stable. So when my companions all boarded a traditional four-person canoe docked on murky brown waters along one of the distributaries of the Mekong River, I recoiled back. One step on that small rickety thing would send me plunging down the river, along with my cameras. I just know it in my heart. But I seem to have no choice. Either I come with them or I commute back all the way to the city. Which I have no idea how to. Darn it.

Mekong Delta Day Tour From Ho Chi Minh
A TRADITIONAL BOAT ALONG THE MEKONG RIVER DELTA

It was another day of adventure for us. Since we were based in Ho Chi Minh, and the city doesn’t really look that interesting, we booked another out of town tour from our hostel. We already tried the Cu Chi Tunnel tour the day before, this time we’re doing the Mekong Delta Full Day Tour.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Cruise
CRUISING AROUND THE MEKONG

Priced at around USD30.00 per person [CHECK DISCOUNTED RATES & BOOK THE TOUR ONLINE], the tour includes two-way transfers from our lodging in Pham Ngu Lao to the city of My Tho in Tien Gang Province, then a ride back from Ben Tre City back to our hotel. We were told we were visiting a few islands along the river, but of course, I never expected a Coron tour level island hopping adventure from this one, lol.

Banh Mi Breakfast Ho Chi Minh
OUR DAILY BREAKFAST IN HO CHI MINH, BANH MI

Our tummies full of pho and banh mi, we were picked up from our hostel at around eight in the morning. The jump-off, My Tho, was still an hour and a half away; time enough to sleep off our hangover from the previous night’s partying along Bui Vien Street.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Cruise
GETTING READY FOUR OUR RIVER CRUISE

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Cruise
OUR TOUR BOAT

My Tho came too soon though. We were still dead to the world as we boarded a thirty-people traditional wooden boat, our main transport for the day. It is quite spacious and the seats, foldable single chairs made from bamboo, surprisingly comfortable. The whole seating area is covered by a curved woven bamboo roof, so no problem even if the day was a scorcher. Us, we chose to sit ourselves on the back of the boat, an open area set with built-in benches.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Cruise
A BUSY AREA OF THE MEKONG DELTA

The Mekong Delta or the Nine Dragon River Delta is a body of water passing through twelve southern provinces of Vietnam before emptying to the sea. It is considered to be the country’s rice basket, the area being very fertile. The name Nine Dragons refers to the nine distributaries that the river ends on, which in turn, exits to the sea.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Cruise
STILT HOUSES ALONG THE RIVER

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Cruise Stilt Houses
MOST OF THE HOUSES ARE SAGGING, BUT ARE STILL VERY CHARMING

The water along the river is murky and the view along the banks, very rustic; mostly vegetation, trees swaying with the breeze, and run-down stilt houses. The river isn’t as busy as I expected it to be (only a few parts are), meeting only a few wooden boats painted with colorful mask-like prows as we slowly cruised along.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Rice Paper Factory
A LADY MAKING RICE PAPER

Eventually, our boat stopped and we were herded to a banh uot or rice paper factory. Here we were shown how locals along the river make spring roll wrappers by hand. Like most Vietnam tours, parts of the itinerary almost always consist of a visit to a workshop of sorts. And ours seems to have these aplenty.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Rice Crispies
POPPED RICE, A TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE DESSERT

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Rice Crispies
LOOKS VERY MUCH LIKE OUR VERY OWN AMPAW

Throughout our trip, we also visited a souvenir shop, a honey café, a wine and tea shop (where they offer free taste), and a shop making popped rice crispies. That last one was quite interesting since it looked so similar to the Philippines’ popped rice snack, ampaw.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Free Tea
FREE TEA FOR US

Lunch was provided on one of the stops, mostly traditional Vietnamese dishes that really didn’t make its mark on us. Afterwards, guests were given the chance to either rest or bicycle around a small village. We took the former, lazy tourists that we are.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Canoe Ride
TRANSFERRING TO A SMALLER BOAT

Then it was back to the boat. We cruised some more. More of the same really, until we alighted for the last time and transferred to a smaller boat which can fit only four people plus the rower. I was so reluctant to board, since the boat, which is more of a canoe, really, looked really small and my balancing isn’t really the best.

But since I had no choice, they finally convinced me to go. I boarded. Very slowly.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Canoe Ride
ALONG ONE OF THE DISTRIBUTARIES OF THE MEKONG

And this turned out to be the most interesting part of the cruise. I’m guessing this is one of the nine distributaries of the Mekong Delta. The river is much narrower, and its banks overgrown with greens. We rowed forward, effortlessly gliding along the calm waters.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Canoe Ride
OUR GRACEFUL LADY ROWER

I was quite amazed with our boatman, or boatwoman—it seems most, if not all, of the rowers here are middle-aged ladies. Garbed in ao ba ba—black silken pants and long-sleeved shirt—plus the iconic non la conical straw hat, they position themselves at the back of the boat, standing with paddles on both hands. They make balancing look so easy. I was totally envious.

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Canoe Ride
END OF THE LINE, GOING BACK TO THE BIGGER BOAT

Mekong Delta Day Tour River Cruise Sunset
SUNSET AT THE MEKONG DELTA

Our ride ended too soon. We were dropped on a bridge somewhere, then we again boarded the original big boat en route to our drop off point. The sun, framed by a small suspension bridge, was setting as we navigated the waters of Ben Tre, making everything glow in hues of oranges. A poignant farewell to the Mekong Delta for us.

 

Mekong Delta Day Tour 
Address: Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Tour Fee: USD30.00 per person
Tour Hours: from 8:00AM to 5:00PM
GPS Coordinates Map: 11.142626, 106.460965

►► BOOK DISCOUNTED MEKONG DELTA DAY TOURS ONLINE






Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, August 8, 2017

8 comments:

  1. Gusto ko yung ao ba ba! Tsaka masarap ba yung ampaw nila?

    Yung bestfriend ko, he trips even on flat surfaces. Kaya napahalakhak ako sa first paragraph!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha nakakainis. Anyways, are you planning on doing the Mekong River cruise din?

      Delete
  2. Were you able to go to the forest part? I read it is on the way to Cambodia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, our Mekong Delta day tour didn't cover that part, unfortunately

      Delete
  3. Surreal. Dati rati naririnig lng naten ang Mekong Delta sa mga Vietnam war movies at TV series tulad ng Tour of Duty (cue the Stones "Paint it Black" sountrack)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, wasn't able to watch those Vietnam War shows when I was a kid though

      Delete