The Mekong Delta

Trip Start Nov 30, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, April 30, 2010

Having spent much of the past 6 weeks on over or crossing over the Mekong River we thought it only appropriate that we see it one last time at the place where it finally prepares to meet the sea. Our guide book informed us that trying to get down to the Delta and see the sights independently was tricky and not cost effective as hiring a boat privately was expensive.  Taking this into account we decided to book onto a two day, one night tour instead.  Big mistake, as it meant spending 2 days in what can only be described as 'Vietnam World'!  I guess we’ve been lucky so far on our trip that we’ve managed to just do our own thing, find our own way to places, organise our own guides and if we have done a tour it has just been with a small group.  The trip itself included some pretty cool things, like being paddled up narrow palm lined channels in a little boat, seeing the floating markets and watching rice noodles being made.  However, it was just the dozens of other people with us and doing it all on a mass scale that spoilt it – plus being taken to place after place that wanted to sell us overpriced souvenirs.  As if all that wasn’t bad enough there was also the family from hell on our coach – who we can only describe as Vietnamese Chavs!  Noisy bratty kids, including a little girl of 6 with hair dyed the same colour as her mums and two horrible boys who constantly blew on a whistle for 6 hours!  Nightmare!  

Having said all that the Mekong Delta itself was very beautiful, and we enjoyed the bit when we got to go out for dinner on our own – eating fantastic duck noodle soup from a street stall and sampling a new Vietnamese beer.   The only other highlight from the two days was crossing over the new suspension bridge across the river which they claim is 17km long.  I think this includes the approach road that runs up across the rice fields as you approach it.  Half the people on our bus were Vietnamese and I’m sure were only doing the 2 day trip so they could go across the bridge.  It’s the first time in my life I’ve witnessed spontaneous cheering and clapping when crossing a road bridge!   It was as if we were at a pop concert! Half the bus was on their feet as we reached the highest point in the middle.  To make things even more surreal out of the 6 lanes of traffic the 2 outer lanes were almost at a standstill where entire families had pulled up their motorbikes and were posing for photos, buying snacks and enjoying the view.  There were all sorts of people selling things, food, drinks, balloons and even inflatable toys.  Can you imagine that on the QE2 Bridge on the M25?  Total traffic mayhem.  Somehow here no one seems to mind people just stopping dead, jumping off their bike in the middle of the road to take a photo, all perfectly acceptable.   Mad mad people!

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Mum on


rosboroughs on

Definitey recommend Vietnam, especially the North of the Country, really beautiful. Although the people seem to be getting less friendly and more interested in ripping us off!

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