Monday 14th October 2019
Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh
We took a scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields.
We passed through a village called My Tho, which holds the Vinh Trang Pagoda so we stopped to check it out.
From here we were heading to the Mekong Delta. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this for quite some time.
The Mekong Delta is the region in the most southern Vietnam, and is also known as the “rice bowl”.
The Mekong River snakes its way through Southeast Asia starting from China, flowing past Laos and Cambodia, and finally approaches here and empties into the South China Sea.
It is here, in this southern part of Vietnam, that the Mekong sends out numerous rivers forming huge networks of canals. These canals link rice farms and towns, a tropical maze that is a joy to explore by boat.
Life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river due to its rich and lush area, and all the villages are accessible by boat.
We took a leisurely boat ride along the river where we viewed the stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank.
We proceeded to Tortoise islet to have lunch in an orchard garden.
This orchard garden is run by a local family and what beautiful settings.
From here we were able to observe the pastoral life as we roamed through the fruit plantation and small village.
We then took another boat ride to An Khanh in Ben Tre.
We were welcomed into a local family’s ‘sweet shop’, I use this term loosely, infact very loosely, everything was done outside there was no ‘real’ shop!
But it was a family business which epitomised the idyllic rural lifestyle.
They were making coconut sweets. They allowed us to taste some of their delicious candy and of course we bought some.
Then they asked us if we would like to taste their snake wine, which we thought was a joke. Low and behold they brought out their snake wine, which of course we had to taste in order to be polite.
It was like Poitin. I’ll stick to the red stuff in future!
The locals told us they drink this, well the men do anyway as it makes them more ‘manly’ whatever that means, and something to do with having children….that’s what we took from the conversation anyway!
Then the snake wine led to more and now the real story begins……….
They asked us if we would like to hold their bees? Hold their bees!! So me being me said erm yes, I’d love to hold your bees! And the bees were produced for me to hold. What!!!
Then they asked would we like to hold their python?! Yip this is a real story. Ok so you have a real python here I asked. The guy got up walked over to a box and produced a python and in order to be mannerable did I hold it……….
Of course I did!
Before a tiger or worse still a spider was produced we got out of there real quick and had no more snake wine!
Further along we got to enjoy cruising on a hand-rowed sampan under the shadow of the water coconut trees along natural canals on the Mekong.
This felt truly special and was probably my favourite part so far.
It just felt like you were right in the thick of something…..I could have stayed here forever and enjoyed a life on the Mekong Delta!
The water looks dirty but it’s the mud that surrounds it and is below it
From here we then enjoyed some seasonal fruit and honey tea in another families home who then started singing “Southern Vietnamese folk music”, pretty special.
We tasted sugarcane juice produced there and then by a local man in seconds and it tasted amazing.
This experience has provided us with a fascinating insight into daily life in the Mekong Delta, it’s pretty amazing, and we were guaranteed our own private collection of beautiful memories to take home with us.