Well, the excursion to the Mekong Delta was not at the top of my ‘must see’ list….but it should have been and I am so glad that we went along with it, for the ride so to speak. We took a boat from the edge of the city to Coconut Island and then a number of different means of transportation from place to place and island to island.
Our guide Dep (her name means butterfly), was experienced and well versed in the life and history of the area and the Islands.
She took us to a honey farm with friendly bees where you could take a fingerful of honey right out of the honeycomb. You can buy honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly right at the apiary.
She helped us understand how coconut sugar, coconut cream and coconut candies are made…ok we ate lots too which helped with understanding.
The market also had some very interesting things like ‘snake alcohol’ and scorpions as well as all the ‘usual’ stuff that markets here have to sell. A few members of our group tried the ‘snake’ alcohol…sorry not me…I like snakes but not to eat or drink!
We learned about the difficult task of carrying baskets on the shoulder and were very surprised by how heavy they actually are to lift and carry.
We also had a fruit tasting, some very interesting fruit like dragon fruit, durian, and some other not so weird like bananas and pineapple.
We were enchanted by singers and musicians and even got to try to play a one string instrument called a đàn bầu or gourd lute or a monochord (one-string) zither. I plucked away at it and may have even got a note or two right as the master helped me play a little tune too.
We took a dug out canoe down the river and a trucktuk around back roads in the country.
We tried climbing a coconut tree (ok only one of us tried climbing a coconut tree) and had some great laughs while one of us relaxed in a hammock.
Lunch was had at a small local restaurant on the island and we all loved the variety and deliciousness of the food.
It was a great day that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. If you get the chance go ahead and do the Mekong Delta and Islands Tour!