Saigon, My Tho, Ben Tre (Mekong Delta) - Day 109

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Mai Guesthouse

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Today I traveled south of Saigon to the Mekong Delta on an organised 1 day tour. I really wanted to see where the Mekong flows into the south China sea as I've been following this mighty river for the last month through Laos, Cambodia and now Vietnam. We visited 2 provinces, Tien Giang (My Tho) and Ben Tre. First we crossed one of the tributaries from My Tho to the island province of Ban Tre. On Ben Tre island we first visited a small café which had a small bee hive. The honey from the Mekong delta is famous for being ultra sweet due to the abundance of flowers in the region. One of the locals told me to stick my finger in the hive to take some honey, so I did and thankfully I didn't get stung. I can verify the honey was really sweet. Then we boarded the boat again to visit a coconut candy factory on the banks of the river. We saw the production of the candy which was really interesting, every part of the coconut is used, they even burn the husks to melt the sugar cane and coconut milk together. I've realised that the coconut palm is one of the wonder plants like bamboo that has an endless number of uses.

We then moved onto a small rowing boat and meandered through the smaller tributaries of the Mekong with groves of water coconut trees lining the banks, as huge butterflies the size of sparrows flew above us. The butterflies seem to use the channels as ways of navigating around the think vegetation. A beautiful sight.

We stopped for lunch and I had a stroll in the primary town of the island, Ben Tre town. Really rural feel with small wooden and corrugated iron shops lining the road. Everybody says hello and it's nice and friendly place, but not much to see regarding sights. Returned back to the boat and caught the bus back to Saigon. Met up with a couple of Australian guys I talked to the previous evening for a few drinks, really nice chaps.
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