Vietnam, Mekong Delta
Not wanting to spend our final days in the city we booked a couple of day trips, the first of which being to the rice bowl of Vietnam – the Mekong Delta. The Vietnamese don’t use the word Mekong and refer to the mighty river as Song Cuu Long, River of Nine Dragons. The journey to the departure point takes about 2 hours by bus, again it is very touristy when you get there and you often feel like you’re on a conveyor belt with other tour groups ahead and behind.
The tour took in the mighty river itself which is about a kilometer across here and four islands near the town of My Tho. We were ushered in and out of bee farms, a coconut candy factory, and a cocoa farm where we were serenaded by the family.
The highlight though was being paddled down a canal in a kind of ‘whacky races’ fashion with a whole bunch of other tourists in canoes jostling for position in the narrow waterways. The paddlers would drop off the groups at their respective boats and head back upstream to grab another lot; they did this all day long and earnt a lot more from tips and extras than they ever would living off the land and river.