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Mekong Delta-My Tho & Ben Tre village

rain 25 °C

My previous travel to Ho Chi Minh city aka Saigon did not include a trip to Mekong Delta as I was not able to fit my backpacking schedule to add this trip to the itinerary. That was 8 years ago. Well, 8 years may not be a very long period of time but that was enough to see some changes that had taken place in Ho Chi Minh city. Back then, one of the most popular budget airline today has yet to start its route to Saigon and I travelled to this southern city of Vietnam through Phnom Penh by bus which took approximately 6 hours journey. My place of stay was a humble little small guesthouse located at De Tham street at that time and things had been different when I passed through this guesthouse during my recent travel. It is now more lively and vibrant with the neon lights decorating its main door and the few small table and chairs were taken off replaced with few stools and the theme of this guesthouse seemed to be that of blue colour. Previously, the small table and chair served as a place for breakfast dining with the menu being the banh mi (french bread stuff with ommelette) and coffee. A small room that I paid for costs only USD10 a night, It could have increased slightly now but I did not checked it out. One of the famous travel agent was located just 2 doors away which at that time was popular among foreign backpackers. Those days, this travel company occupied just a small ground floor shop with very minimal interior renovation done. The office could be seen packed with many tourists and travellers alike in its office enquiring tours as well as paying for tour bookings. When I visited the same company recently, how things had changed. It has now expanded to 2 units of shop with improved interior which looked much contemporary. The name of the company has also changed to reflect the nature of its business. What really get me surprised was, there were no longer western or european travellers that packed the placed as it was 8 years ago. It seemed to me that instead, it is now popular among Asian travellers & tourists, Well, the general feeling in me was that, as a backpacker, it feels very much a different atmosphere when you see fellow travellers within the same mode of travel gathered in a familiar place at any one time as compared when you are with a group of travellers which are of family oriented travel. So, perhaps this can be good for Vietnam or specifically Ho Chi Minh city as it has now gained its grounds among different group of travellers instead of just the backpackers. More travellers and tourists mean more income generated for people of HCM city which ultimately increase the wealth of its people and brought further developments to the country.

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The tour bus crossing the bridge across the Mekong Delta on the way to My Tho-Ben Tre village

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The Mekong Delta

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The pier to board the boat to My Tho-Ben Tre Village

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This is the boat to My Tho-Ben Tre village tour

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The boat interior which we board to My Tho-Ben Tre

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The boat cruising along the Mekong river to My Tho village

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The boat reaching My Tho village pier

For this trip, as I had missed out on the Mekong Delta in my previous itinerary, I decided to book the tour for the My Tho & Ben Tre village trip with the same travel company in which I booked for the Cao Dai Temple and Chu Chi tunnel trip during my last visit. The cost of tour is not expensive and worth the money paid I thought. For VND 209,0000, which include a bottle of drinking water on board the bus, a paid lunch and paid fruit dining, this tour was rather affordable. The tour to Mekong Delta departed from the travel company office at 8.30 am on a large tour bus with a guide that would lead the group of travellers. It took about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach My Tho from Ho Chi Minh city on the road and approaching the pier to board the boat to Phoenix Island (one of the few other islands in My Tho), the bus crossed over a bridge that oversee the Mekong Delta. From the boat pier, it took about 15 minutes to reach the Phoenix Island in My Tho. When the group reached Phonix Island, the wind started to blew heavily and it began to rain soon after. We were provided with disposable raincoat by the guide to prevent us from getting wet as the group will have to walk for some distance from the pier which brought us through the fruit plantations to the restaurant located at the other end of the island for lunch. The highlight of the lunch was the tilapia fish which was being hang on a holder and the waitress would cut the fish meat and wrapped it with a spring roll wrapper stuffed with fresh lettuce. To add more flavour it is to be dipped into a sweet sauce before eaten. Other dishes include rice served with mini fried spring roll, stewed pork, stewed fish and soup. Since the island is also famous with coconut, get a taste of one when you are there.

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Walking from the pier through some plantation farms to the restaurant for lunch at My Tho village

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Banana and papaya trees at My Tho Village

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A vietnamese lady making the spring roll wrap at My Tho Village, Mekong Delta

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The ready made spring roll wrap at My Tho Village

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Coconut trees at My Tho Village, Mekong Delta

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Continue walking through the plantation farm in My Tho village

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Some of the souvenirs item sold at My Tho Village

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Tilapia fish for lunch at My Tho Village

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Deep fry spring roll for lunch at Mekong Delta

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The spring roll wrap. The fish meat was cut and wrap in the spring roll wrapper

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Stew pork for lunch at My Tho Village

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Fresh coconut at My Tho

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Boarding the boat to Ben Tre Village

After lunch, we then board the boat again to get to Ben Tre village with the boat ride took about 30 minutes, While on the boat cruising the Mekong river, some great sights including the mangrove trees and water palm which were abundant in the Mekong Delta area. The boat would then reached a smaller and narrow river after cruising through the wider Mekong delta before it approached the pier at Ben Tre village. From the pier, we would walked to the small coconut museum with informations on coconuts and sample of preserved coconut shells were also on display. From here, we walk to the bee farm in which we were being shown how the bees constructed the bee hive that eventually would be filled with honey, which then being collected and packed into bottle for sale by the bee farmers as well as transformed into other items made from the honey. We were also taken to taste the honey drink mix with "kumquat" (the bitter lime), which was quite refreshing. From the bee farm, we then head to the horse ride to the fruits village where we were served different kind of fruits include the dragon fruit, water melon, rambutan, pineapple and pomelo which include vietnamese tea. There was also presentation of traditional singing by a group of veteran women singers. Donations can be made by purchasing flower to be presented to these singers.

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Cruising from My Tho to Ben Tre village along Mekong river

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Water palm along Mekong Delta

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The boat approaching the small and narrow canal on its way to Ben Tre Village

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The boat cruising through the canal to the pier at Ben Tre Village, Mekong Delta

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Water palm along the canal to Ben Tre Village

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Walking through plantation farms to the bee farm at Ben Tre Village

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The coconut museum at Ben Tre Village

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The bee building the bee hive with honey at Ben Tre Village

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A cup of honey with kumquat

After the presentations ended, we then took the sampan from the pier cruising through the natural creeks which were dotted with water palm. It was quite an interesting experience bringing us close to the nature and the weather was pleasant as the rain has just stopped while the cool breeze blowing as we cruise through the canals. A we reached end of the canal, the boat docking at this larger pier were waiting for us to bring us to our final destination, the coconut candy factory. The factory was a small facility with few machines in operations. Staffs can be seen cutting the candy and packed it into paper package. There were few types of candy for sale within the factory and you can buy them for own consumption as well as travel gifts. As coconut is the major industry in the Mekong Delta, it produced some of the good quality items that made from coconut including the coconut candy. Overall, the trip was worthwhile and it provide some interesting experience in getting close to the nature while visiting Ho Chi Minh city.

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The horse car at Ben Tre Village

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The horse working hard to send us to our next destination: tropical fruit sampling at Ben Tre Village

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Some souvenirs sold at Ben Tre Village

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Tropical fruits sampling at Ben Tre Village

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The vietnamese traditional folk song singers performing at their best effort at Ben Tre Village

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The pier to board the sampan to cruise through the natural creeks at Ben Tre Village

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The sampan waiting for passengers to board at Ben Tre Village Mekong Delta

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Cruising through the natural creeks along the canal of Mekong Delta at Ben Tre Village

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The water palm along the canal at Ben Tre Village, Mekong Delta

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The sampan cruise ended at this pier for us to board the boat to the coconut candy factory

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The machine at work to process the coconut candy at Ben Tre Village

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The coconut candy ready to be cut into pieces

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A worker seen here cutting the coconut candy into pieces at Ben Tre Village

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Various flavour of candy available for sale at Ben Tre Village

Posted by kidd27 05:45 Archived in Vietnam

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