A day tour on the Mekong Delta
7 days in, and we were ready to take a break from the maddening sounds of Saigon. (the thousands of blinking and screeching and beeping and flashing…)
To get out of the city, we took a Mekong Delta 1 day tour that promised views of lush vegetation, a floating market, boat rides through canals, village visit to watch locals make rice paper, bicycle rides and a trip to the land market. We came with low expectations, partly because I wasn’t sure how they could fit all of those activities into a day and the rest…well, we’ve found life is
easier better more fun if we don’t expect too much from tour operators in Southeast Asia.
To our surprise, the tour was a good time and somehow we did do all of the activities they promised. The floating market action was a bit sparse as our tour arrived Cai Be to board the river boat at around 11:30am, and I think you have to be there way earlier to see all the buying and selling in full bloom. There was plenty to see along the river and we were both pretty wowed. Riverboats, homes on stilts, tv antennas everywhere, locals out and about doing chores and living their life. At lunchtime, the boat docked and we had the option to walk or take old rusty bicycles to the guesthouse serving food. We opted for the bikes and though mine did not have brakes, the terrain was flat enough for it not to matter too much. The included lunch was good enough, though nothing too memorable. I especially liked the rambutan fruit they served as dessert. After lunch we boarded tiny, 4-people max rowboats, and navigated down a smaller canal with brown, brown water, and large aquatic plants. Pretty much a mosquito and other flying annoying-bugs heaven. (This is not a Disneyland ride people. At one point, the person navigating the rowboat took a tub to take water that had seeped into our boat and throw it back in the river.) We saw some very unique homes, a man fishing off his boat, a kid bathing. Life here happens everyday, just like anywhere else.
Regardless of the bugs and my fear the boat would capsize, the ride was strangely peace-inducing, and I thoroughly loved it. If time allows and I hope it does, we may do a longer Mekong Delta tour where we can overnight along the river, and wake up early enough to catch the markets. Fingers crossed 🙂
We liked the tour company we chose; english speaking agents and tour guide, and the bus/boats they used were comfortable.
• Price 310,000 VND ($15 USD)
• Tour Company: Lac Hong Tours 305 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1
• Tour Name: Mekong Delta 1 day tour, Cai Be to Vinh Long
• Departs Saigon at 7:30am back by 6:00pm