Our second day at Vietnam was spent by taking the Mekong River Tour. Some friends and a few locals actually discouraged us from taking this tour — like taking a tour of Pasig River according to them. I disagree though since we had fun and got a glimpse of provincial life in Vietnam (at least the idealized version of provincial life).
Day 2 Mekong River Tour
Book a tour with Delta Adventures. Here is their site: Delta Adventure Tours. Take the Mekong Delta (1 day) impression tour. A tour costs $25 per person. The guide speaks pretty good English and is very professional.
The bus will pick you up at 7:15 am. This will then take you to the port, where you will ride a boat for about 15 people that will take you through the Saigon River. In the Saigon river, you will see various ships, ships that transport sand to HCMC. There will also be boats that transport fruits and goods to HCMC. You will then traverse the Mekong river towards your first destination.
Your first destination will be a smalll town called My Tho. You will reach this destination after 2 hours of a smooth relaxing cool boat ride. From My Tho, you will ride on a local motor boat along the four popular islands in Vietnam: Dragon Island, Unicorn Island, Phoenix Island and the Turtle Island.
The first stop will be at a Bee Farm in the famous Unicorn Island. We got to taste jasmine tea with honey, calamansi, and bee pollen at this bee farm. The bees are pretty placid so you can grab hold of one “slide” from a beehive and have your picture taken holding them up.
They also sell wine soaked in SNAKE (biting the tail of a SCORPION) — if you see one you’d be wishing for tequila worms. According to local belief, drinking this grants one power & strength. Only the man drinks this though. When the man is already powerful & strong, the excess energy goes to the woman. I’m good with Red Bull, thanks.
While at the Unicorn Island, your guide will take you trekking (but this will just be short and quick). In this trek, you will see the local fruits and some local wares growing in this tropical country. Our guide also told us about one of their favorite fruit trees — the Jackfruit. Apparently after a couple of years, the Jackfruit’s tree stops bearing fruit. The locals uproot the tree and from the roots, they create an image of the Buddha.
At the end of short trek, we reached a small pier of sorts at a small river. You ride a river boat that the locals will paddle for you. We noticed that most of the paddlers are girls. Talk about girl power! Be sure to have some change ready for tip because they do ask for some at the end. We gave 20,000 VND or 40 PHP.
From the boat ride, you will be brought to Ben Tre province to visit a handmade coconut candy workshop. It was interesting to see how the soft coconut candies were made. These sweet caramel-like candies make great gifts for families and friends, but of course, they’re overpriced here. You can buy some at Ben Thanh Market when you get back home.
Then, you’ll transfer to a small motorized boat so that you can travel along narrow canals. This small boat will take you to a local restaurant for your Vietnamese lunch. After lunch, there is a 30 minute break so you can ride a bicycle around the village (provided free) or you can just hang out.
After lunch, We were taken to an orchard to enjoy tropical fruits. While eating fruits like papaya, dragonfruit, jack fruit, bananas and pineabple, traditional Vietnam music was played and sang by musicians. The place was cozy and very relaxing.
The boat will then take you back My Tho. From My Tho, a bus will drive you back to Sai Gon at around 7:00 PM.
19:15 Arrival at Sai Gon
20:00 – 22:00 Dinner and Dessert
Have a relaxing dinner at the Floating Restaurant or for those longing for the familiar taste of Pizza and Pasta, you can have dinner at Sarpino’s (Ton That Thiep Street). A few steps away is a great ice cream place called Fanny’s. As our friend would say, they have “excellent, excellent, excellent!” ice cream. Prices are around 75,000 Vietnamese Dong.
That’s it for Day 2 in Vietnam! Watch out for the last day (Day 3) of our Vietnam trip.