February 12, 2012

Vietnam - Mekong River Delta

My next stop, and primary reason I ventured to southern Vietnam to begin with, was the Mekong River Delta. We booked a tour group through our hostel (for details check out my post on Saigon here) and were hurried out of Saigon by bus. Once in the area, our group went from boat to boat in a variety of sizes. From motorized to row boats, each trip was unique.

Rowing boats racing down the narrow passageways

The crowding in Vietnam is not limited to the big cities!

Each boat in the area has eyes painted on the front.

Elephant fish!

Dredging the Mekong River for sand to use in construction in Saigon.

The floating markets were really interesting to me. Each boat selling was packed with one type of fruit, and had these little poles sticking in the air with a piece of fruit hanging from it. This was to make the fruit vendors easily identifiable to boats filled with customers. It seemed to be a great system.

In opposition to the farming boats selling massive quantities of fruit, lots of boats were based solely on selling individual servings of snacks. These seemed to focus primarily on tourists, which the Delta was absolutely crawling with.

Rice noodle factory

Rice factory

Coconut candy factory

Sunset over Can Tho

Ultimately, the Mekong River Delta is a beautiful place. I suggest that anyone who gets the chance spends a day or two in the area. I loved seeing a group of people living over a rivers and tributaries, existing on bridges and boats. I adored the brightly colored boats and buildings. The factories showed a side of local manufacturing entirely unmatched in the west. The only downside is that it is on every tourists' must-see list, and therefore its packed. Don't be disappointed if there are more foreigners than Vietnamese!

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