Visiting the Mekong Delta was a highlight of Saigon. Plain and simple. From the food, to the culture, to the people, the Mekong Delta region should be on everyone’s Vietnam list.
We started our journey around 8am, when a Les Rives guide picked us up at our hotel and drove us to our luxury speed boat. We were greeted with fresh fruit, delicious sandwiches and, wait for it, coffee. I have NEVER been a coffee drinker, but I had heard too much about Vietnamese Ca phe sua da, to miss out. So when our guide started pouring Ca phe sua da, I gave it a try and loved it. Ca phe sua da is iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk, what is not to like?
One of our stops along the tour was a sugar cane farm. Our guide explained that on the global market, the Vietnamese sugar cane is not as valuable as other countries’, however, the sugar cane attracts snakes, and snakes my friends is where the money is at. Now, before you continue down the page, I must warn you, we got to see and hold a giant snake. I wish I could have just left the one picture, showing me keeping my cool, but then, that would be lying. I was terrified, and it was heavy.
Prior to our stop at the sugar cane farm, we perused a local Mekong fruit market. Southeast Asia has so many fruits I had never tried before, but by the time we made it to Vietnam, I felt like a seasoned pro, with my new list of desired fruits. Below is Rambutan and Lychee. What was amazing about the Les Rives group was that while we were at the market, people were asking questions about the different fruits, and on the spot, our guide bought every fruit each person was asking about, and then cleaned it, cut it up and served it to us on the boat. Talk about service!
The last two images are from the Saigon River, as we were nearing the dock at the end of our tour. When you look at these images, I am sure your first thoughts, as were mine, were probably along the lines of, “this looks like a poorer region.” However, our guide made a point to explain that if you see an air conditioning unit, the family is well off. In fact, these homes have been built out onto the water, expanding from their homes on land. This gives them direct access to the commerce of the river. So if we saw the front of the house, our opinions would be different.
Our Les Rives Mekong Delta Tour was phenomenal. The guides are professional, speak English fluently and genuinely want you to enjoy your tour. I felt welcomed from the moment I stepped into our luxury speed boat and did not want to leave when we arrived back at the dock. Also, I have Les Rives to thank for introducing me to my love for Vietnamese Coffee!
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