The Mekong River runs through six countries namely China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam.
For my third day in Ho Chi Minh, I did a full day tour at the Mekong River, the 7th longest river in Asia and 12th in the world. If I remember correctly, I paid VND 335,000 and that includes bus rides to and fro the venue, boat rides and lunch. The call time was 7:30 AM but as expected, we didn’t leave on time. The journey was about an hour or two, and it was past 11:00 AM when we got there.
Arriving at the docking station
You will find shops of local products at the docking station. This trip would not be complete if I did not buy Vietnam’s iconic cone-shaped hat! Having arrived there at almost noon, it was also a perfect protection from the sun.
Our first stop was the Unicorn Island. Here you can find the floating market with sellers and buyers bargaining and exchanging their goods from their boats. We rode a smaller boat and cruised on the canal maze for a more authentic experience of Mekong River.
After Unicorn, we went to another island. There we were served some crystallised ginger and banana chips, tea with natural honey and bee pollen, and got to be up-close and touch a honeycomb and a snake! Quite interesting experiences.
On our next island stop, we were served platter of tropical fruits and some locals also performed for us! I met two bubbly girls from Norway named Martha and Martina (hope I got that right!) and chatted with them for quite a while. You’d probably think they’re sisters, just like I did, but they’re not! They’re just classmates and were on a school break.
Second to the last stop was the coconut island. There they make candies & other food and stuff using coconut. Our tour guide showed us first how to open one, and also tried shaving it. After that, we saw how the candies were cooked, cut and packed. We also tried some other food made with coconut.
A very late lunch
At the last island, we finally had lunch at almost 3:00 PM. As I said earlier, the payment already included lunch, but you have to add some more money for some of the food they offer. Their specialty is this gigantic Elephant Ear fish captured from the Mekong River. I thought it was a bit expensive so I stuck with the default set meal.
We had the chance to roam around and rest before we headed back to catch our bus for the city. There were some interesting activities and sights to see, and my favourite were the grass sculptures!
See you, Ho Chi Minh!
I flew back to Singapore the next day. Overall, I really enjoyed this quick getaway. It was chill, interesting and cheap. Thank you Ho Chi Minh for a memorable one! I cannot wait to explore other parts of Vietnam when I come back.