Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up early on November 29, 2008. We hopped on a tour bus. We were headed on a 3 day Mekong Delta tour. We were driven to a boat. We boarded the boat heading towards some islands.
On one of the islands we had a fruit snack. I was sad to find out there were no bananas. I had a few that I brought in Jennifer’s backpack though. We also heard some local people playing music and singing. It sounded worse than three crazy cats in heat. One of the guys said he couldn’t sing, but he loved music so he was going to sing anyway. You know that’s just a warning and your ears are in for it. We were having tea with honey. Bees kept flying around. This made Jennifer antsy. She doesn’t like bugs. The bees weren’t very smart. A handful of them kept falling into the tea and drowning. You would think that since their friends were stuck at the bottom of the glass they wouldn’t go near the liquid. We had a small lunch of noodles with pork. Ivan had the vegetarian version. I chopped on another banana with a few crackers.
The last stop of the day was at the coconut candy factory. A machine shredded the coconut. The coconut was a gooey substance and a lady put it into a mold that makes long strips of the candy.
Then the candy is cut but another lady. The candy is covered with rice paper and then wrapped into individual pieces.
The best part was eating the samples. I couldn’t stop eating the coconut and banana candies. Ivan and Jennifer tried all different versions like coconut with pineapple and coconut and chocolate. They both loved the gooey hot substance before it’s wrapped and put into a long strip. A lot of people were buying candy to take with them. Jennifer was going to buy some. I’m glad she didn’t because I probably would have eaten the coconut and banana candies all in one go. This was a sweet end to our tour for the day.
Some of the people were staying at a hotel and a few were staying at a homestay. We did the homestay which was only $7 more. We took a 20 minute boat ride to the Hung Homestay. It was a nice boat ride. It was only three couples and one monkey. We arrived and were assigned our room. It was a nice room with a balcony overlooking the river. We went to help with dinner. Ivan and Jennifer rolled some vegetable spring rolls in rice paper. Then, a few people helped cook the spring rolls. We were then seated. We met a German couple who were already staying at the homestay. I had a special meal for me of spring rolls I created with bananas and vegetables. It was very tasty! Everybody else had the vegetable spring rolls and also spring rolls you created with tofu, fish, cucumbers and noodles. It was a good meal. We headed back to the room to get ready for bed. We were glad to choose the homestay since it was great. It’s always nice to have the opportunity to interact with the locals.
There were two baskets with a pole where you can pretend to be a local carrying some fruit. I wanted to sleep in the basket. But, Jennifer said it was dirty with cobwebs. The baskets were a little heavy to Jennifer. I don’t know how they lug these baskets around the city all day.
We had to wake up early again on November 30, 2008. We had breakfast with everybody. It was baguettes with cheese. I had a baguette with cheese and bananas. The bananas definitely make it fabulous! We all went on a boat heading towards the floating markets. We met up with the group who stayed at the hotel. We heard the hotel wasn’t very good. So, we were happy to have stayed at the homestay.
The floating markets are where boats sell food items like fruits and vegetables like potatoes, watermelon, chickens, bananas, onions and peppers. It’s for the local Vietnamese people. I wanted to buy up all the bananas but I don’t have that much money.
The only boats that came to the tourist boats were the ones selling drinks or snacks.
We floated along on the river. We were taken to a rice noodle factory. It’s where the thin vermicelli noodles are made. First, there’s a big round rice paper made on a big steamer and then transferred to a flat wood tray.
It is then dried in the sun for hours. A machine then cuts the rice paper into noodles.
We were driven around in the boat for a few minutes. We saw a smaller floating market. Our next stop was to see the crocodiles. This place has baby crocodiles. Our guide said the crocodiles are kept until they are about 4 years old and then exported to China.
The mom and dads stay there the rest of their lives. We had never seen so many crocodiles at one time. Usually you only see a few in a zoo. I think it’s a little creepy since they remain so still most of the time.
They like to lie on top of each other too. The reason they open their mouth is to change their temperature. The crocodiles have no tongues and the inside of their mouth is yellow – like a banana. You learn something new everyday.
Our last stop was the pagoda. We walked up a bunch of stairs to get there. It had good view of the city. You could even see Cambodia from up there. It was a temple with different Buddhist statues.
There was even a female Buddha. There’s a little dark cave where there’s a huge creepy statue of a snake. We were driven by the boat to Chau Doc. We checked into a hotel for the night. It was a simple boring hotel.