Just south of Ho Chi Minh City is the fertile Mekong Delta. This area is a cultural hotspot, and a great place to see the way that most Vietnamese people live, outside of the cities.
We took a two-day, one-night trip down to the delta and stayed in a village families home for the overnight. That was my favorite part!
The tour felt a bit like a shallow overview, but it really was neat to catch a glimpse of many different traditional occupations and the vibrant life in general of this area.
We boarded a boat when we got to the delta, and made stops at different islands along the way. Michaela and I were some of the last on, but got the awesome seats that had gone unnoticed! 🙂
We learned that the water wasn’t brown because it was dirty, but because it was very nutrient rich. The nutrients in the Mekong River make it excellent for cultivating rice – 80% of the world’s rice is grown along this river!
Here are some of the things that we got to experience:
1. The production of coconut candies
These candies were super delicious! They had many flavors including chocolate, ginger, and durian (yuck!).
We also randomly had the chance to hold snakes at this stop…
2. A bee farm
We were able to see the bees, which I didn’t love as much, and then were served a traditional drink that the Vietnamese believe adds longevity to your life. It was a honey tea, but also contained pollen.
3. A city that uses canals for transportation
We were rowed in canoes through a village. The sweetest older man was one of the rowers on ours! We were able to see parts of the village and the beginnings of new boats that were being hollowed out.
4. Rice noodle “factory”
These people worked with unbelievable efficiency! The rice husks are used for the fire, the rice for the batter. They spread a thin layer and move to their second stove top while they wait. A second person grabs them as they are ready and lays them out to dry. After they dry, they’re cut into noodles. So interesting!
After a full day of hopping around to different places, we lugged our things deep into a village in the woods and set up for the night. The boy at the home we were staying at was an incredible 11-year-old boy that aspired to be a tour guide. He had great English and possibly the most winning personality of any human being on earth. He definitely is the one who made the homestay what it was!
(a big thank you to Michaela for sharing some of these pictures!)