Going on a tour to the Mekong Delta is for sure a very touristy thing to do and for all the buses and crowds that went to the same place, I would likely not do this ever again even it was a reasonable price for a full day tour (including lunch). But I have to say that i still enjoyed it and that’s because we met some wonderful and fun people.
The tour started at around 8am. We got picked up from our Hostel and walked across the road where we saw already people standing and also buses. We had a one day tour booked but there where also people waiting who had booked 2 and 3 day tours. So now the confusion started to get all the people from the same tours in the correct buses. They took our ticket and gave us a small paper with a short note. They told us to keep it, for them to know where we had to go. Unfortunately a lot of people were already in the buses so it was not possible to sort everyone out straight away so we just got into the first bus they pointed us to.
Our tour guide was nice and she really made an effort but the 2 hour drive and the amount of people did not make me feel enthusiastic about the whole thing. She basically explained the schedule of the day and a few main things about Vietnam and the Mekong Delta and also checked ou tickets just to know in witch group everyone belongs.
After arriving at the Mekong River we got split into groups and after a half an hour waiting period, with about 150 other people who booked the tour, we got on a boat that brought us over to one of the islands with our Mekong Tour guide.
Our 1st stop was a place where our tour guide explained something about the honey produced in the Mekong Delta. Then we got invited to try it with some tea. Till now it sounds legit but picture it more like a covered place with around 15 round tables and 6-8 chairs around it. I felt like I’m on one of these grandma day trips, where they have a selling show and at the end they all think they really need that well overpriced product. Well we got free tea and banana chips and every table had their own waitress (surprised? Not really? Me either. Anyway the good thing was that we were sitting at the same table with 2 girls from NYC, Star and Lisa. Both super nice, talkative and fun so we had a great conversation about traveling and lots and lots of other things. We ended up sticking together for the rest of the day and made the best out of it. And yes I bought the banana crackers, they were yummy and we could eat them on another day trip… or maybe later :).
The 2nd stop was the boat trip through the reed and mangroves, or however you call it. It was literally a chain of boats that picked up small groups and paddled them through the area. In one line! If that was it, I really was wondering how other people made it look like they are nearly alone here. The ride was around 10min long and ended as fast as it started back at a platform from where we took one of the bigger boats again, that brought us just 100meter down the river to our…
stop number 3 where we had to get of for …. lets call it musical entertainment and a short snack (local fruits). There was a group before us so we had the pleasure to listen to the local music two times. Like a few other people I did not feel in tune with this at all hahaha, I found it again way to touristy and set… up but the fruits were nice. Now we time to walk around for a bit till we met again and got brought over to our next stop.
Stop 4. a small fabric for coconut candy. That was actually one of my favorite parts of the trip, sweets made from coconut, yes. they tasted amazing and got handmade in front of us and packed up on the spot. I bought to packs of candy Coconut/Peanut, delicious.
Stop 5. was then for lunch on another island. It was a meal that we choose in the morning. Not to bad but also nothing special. We all had the vegetarian what was included in the tour and Lisa ordered the local Fish what was bigger then she expected it to be, so we tried a bit of it too. The place it self also had a flower garden and a small theme park. Directly next to the restaurant was a small pond and across it were two ropes vertical attached and stretched from one to the other corner (maybe 10-15meters long). There was a group of young Asian guys trying to get from one side to the other as a task, walking on one rope and holding the other. Two guys at a time tried and the others disturbed them with swinging the ropes an laughing their heads of. It was hilarious to watch because the two made it without falling into the water and the payback was just as good. Unfortunately no one got wet that day.
After lunch we had around 2 hours to walk around on the island and explore a bit. Lots to see and walk around, you can even get a bit lost but in the last half an hour we found free bikes to cruise around and Star, Lisa and me went on a short trip along the water. It was beautiful but way to short, we had to head back to the boat and drive back to HCMC.