The second day of our Mekong Delta tour started very early. After a quick breakfast of eggs, we leave our lovely homestay and jump on a boat to meet up with the rest of the group.
On rejoining the tour, we all laughed at our abandonment yesterday evening and the non home-stayers admitted, when they saw us being dropped off in the middle of nowhere, they were relieved they weren’t doing a homestay.
However, the last laugh was on us!!!
The hotel where they stayed was a shocker, taking budget accommodation to a new level - very filthy, with the added bonus of fleas. Eugh!!!!! The extra dollars we paid was certainly worth the extra adventure and flea free night.
A short boat trip and we hit the Cai Rang floating market, for me the highlight of the Mekong Delta tour. The floating market sell tropical fruits, Vietnamese pork rolls, vegetables, fresh meat; everything you’d find in a normal market, but with the novelty of being sold from a boat. The sellers hang a sample of their wares on long bamboo poles, so you can see from afar what they are selling.
Within minutes of entering the Cai Rang market, merchants start tying their boat to ours and trying to sell us their wares.
First off the boat (or should it be on to the boat) was the lady selling Vietnamese coffee. Some of the girls on the boat claimed the steaming liquid was the best coffee they had in Vietnam.
I was more tempted by the Ninja, pineapple-cutting lady.
Chop, chop, chop!!!
The speed she can take a knife to a pineapple was pretty impressive…
and the pineapple lollipop very yummy.
After yesterday’s experience of being herded from one tourist sight to another, I didn’t have very high expectations for the second day of the tour. However, I thoroughly enjoyed today as this was much more how I imagined the Mekong Delta. No longer on a side stream, just developed to extract as much money from tourists, we were actually on the main river and could see how “real” people lived. The banks were lined with houses on stilts, a constant stream of boats motoring past, people just going about their everyday life, and of course the Cai Rang floating market.
Now this is why I came to the Mekong Delta, not to be hugged by a giant python!!!
Info – It is very easy and cheap to organise a Mekong Delta tour from Ho Chi Mingh City. There are heaps of tour companies, so shop around. It cost me $27 USD per person (including food), but excluding the homestay it’s only $20 USD. You can pay in American Dollars or Vietnamese Dong.
I recommend your trip includes the Cai Rang floating market. Ensure you do the markets early morning to catch most of the action, as after 10am most locals would have shut up shop/boat.