So 3 words about our tour of the Mekong Delta - awesome, awesome, awesome. It was much cheaper than Mr. Tam's tour ($30 for the both of us for the whole day vs $10 per person per hour), and man was it amazing. They also picked us up at the hotel at 7:00AM and we were off on a 2 hour bus ride north to the delta. The nicest thing about the tour was that it was very structured, something we don't get much of here in Vietnam. The tour guide was awesome too and was very kind.
We had one pit-stop in this crazy little hammock place where we got a coconut to share. There were chickens in a pen behind the place and it was our first introduction to a more rural Vietnam.
Here is the view from the dock where we got on a boat to go over the river and see different places. There were all different sizes of boats around - from small one person fishing boats to crazy huge boats. It was a nice day but rather hot so the speed of the boat was a welcome breeze.
Our first stop across the river was a little shop where the family sells their home-made wines as well as the most amazing honey we've ever tasted. This gentleman is holding up an example of their bees, this slat just happened to have the queen - which is supposed to be a sign of luck.
Here's what a bottle of snake wine looks like! It's kind of an herbal formula with a bunch of herbs in it as well as a small cobra and a scorpion. Some of the lovely Australian ladies we sat with tried it, and they actually said it was pretty good - at least better than the banana wine they tried before.
The small boat ride down the river was simply beautiful. I've never seen such beautiful scenery and so much green! It was amazing. The Vietnamese who were paddling the boats were very kind and the young girls were very beautiful. Our head rower was an older lady that was an amazing powerhouse that beat out the people rowing around us.
Here's us in the boat to go to the bigger boat and off to lunch and the coconut candy shop.
The coconut candy shop was so good. They press the coconut to get the milk and then they cook it slowly until it caramelizes, and it is one of the best candies I've ever tasted.
This is a dragonfruit tree that was on the path we were walking. It looks like a weird kind of cactus, very cool, and the fruit tastes like a mix between kiwi fruit and fresh peas - kinda good really.
The last stop of the day was fruit tasting and traditional Vietnamese music. The instruments were very neat, and the music was great for educational purposes albeit I wouldn't listen to it everyday. They eat fruit with salt and spices here, similarly to the way some cultures in Mexico and Central and South America eat fruit with chili powder. All in all it was a wonderful day and we made some awesome Australian friends and a couple French ladies and one Finnish guy living and working in Shanghai. All of the young adults we met on the tour were very educated. All of the girls were studying for PhD's in various topics and the guy from Finland was a successful businessman. We were all only together for a matter of hours, but we all formed a fast friendship that was very wonderful and so much appreciated.