It was our last day in Ho Chi Minh city and the choice was either to lounge by the pool or have a day trip to Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of Vietnam. We chose the latter and embarked on an hour and a half journey to our destination. We were lucky to have Sa as our guide who was very informative about life in Vietnam. Our first stop was a Buddist and Taoist temple with very large statues of Buddha.
On the way the landscape was carpeted with greenery, water ways and many rice fields. We then reached Mekong river which we were told is the 10101010tenth largest river in the world. We got into our boat and headed to our next destination. The water was muddy but full of nutrients and silt for the vegetation to grow.
Once we arrived we got to see many baby crocodiles. Then we were served some honey lime tea, and plenty of fruit. The honey came from their own bee hives. Also on the menu was royal jelly in little jars and a sheet describing all the benefits of consuming it. Despite the promise of younger looking skin, I passed. Further along there were many stalls selling crocodile skin hand bags and more. Behind the stalls there was a production unit of vats and tables with ladies and children making coconut sweets.
We were then taken by horse and cart through a rural village. We then had the most picturesque ride in a canoe. It was very peaceful and we were surrounded by palm trees and palm fruit.
We drove back just as torrential rain struck. Luckily we did not get wet and there were many men in anoraks and umbrellas to guide us into an authentic Vietnamese restaurant for our lunch. We had the most extraordinary culinary experience. It was a set menu with weird and wonderful things to try. Prawns with pomelo salad to start with which was delicious. This was followed by Elephant ear fish on the bone that was skillfully removed by a lady and put into rice paper and rolled with pineapple. It was really good. Then a huge ball appeared which was blown up rice, crispy, soggy and sweet all at once, yum. Each dish had its own sauce to go with it.
We got back to the hotel in plenty of time to pack and leave for the airport. We felt happy that we had visited Mekong Delta as it gave us a true insight to the life of the local people and their culture. I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh City.