We took the local bus to the Mekong Delta and the contrast to the tourist bus was huge! We had pillows, it was clean, we stopped at the nicest service station with sparkling toilets – we’d been doing it all wrong!
When we got to Vinh Long we were approached by a lovely chap, called Nam. He’d just set up a homestay at his house so we agreed to stay there for the night. His lovely uncle picked us up from the river bank and took us across the river and through some canals to the house. He then set up a couple of hammocks for us and plied us with green tea. Perfect. We met another English couple there who had come from China so we spent a long time chatting to them and getting tips. That night we had one of the best meals we’ve had all holiday. It was make your own rice pancakes with elephant ear fish (?!), fresh noodles, fresh mint and other greens and sweet chilli sauce. It was seriously tasty.
We had a nice chat with Nam after dinner and he was telling us about his relatives’ involvement in the Vietnam war. Mainly they had fought with the Americans for the money. His Dad had spent 5 years in prison because of it. His uncle had lost a foot to a land mine. He also told us how he’d saved up for a boat for 10 years. Unfortunately his neighbours steal things from the boat, such as diesel and petrol, so him and his wife have to sleep on the boat every night to protect it! What a nightmare! When it was time for bed the lovely uncle came and tucked us in! He was so cute.
The next day Nam took us and the other English couple on a tour of the Mekong Delta. The scenery was nice but quite similar to all the other river trips we’ve taken over the last 9 months. We stopped at a nice bonsai garden that had some ginormous jack fruits and some weird looking fish. It was our first taste of jack fruit and I don’t think we’ll be hurrying back! It tastes like the strawberry and cream sweets! Our final leg of the journey was undertaken by a nice lady who rowed us down one of the tributaries – she even supplied us with conical hats! Nam did a very good job of taking us on the quieter routes so that we weren’t surrounded by other tourists – a first for Vietnam!!!
Michael_lizi (From Bristol, United Kingdom)