Thursday, November 13, 2008

SE Asia Day 6: The Mekong Delta

For my sixth day, I signed up for a tour to the Mekong Delta.  I’ve always been reluctant to take guided tours.  But this one was $10 and included everything—including lunch.  We rode in on a minibus with about 15 seats for about two hours to get down to the delta region.
We made a pit stop at a tourist trap place that sold trinkets and food.  The stuff actually looked kind of cool, but was more than I was willing to pay.  The place had a nice garden area.
Here are some bottles of “snake wine.”  In each bottle is a whole snake that has a scorpion in its mouth.  At a later stop, they were giving samples of this stuff and I tried it.  Snake wine tastes like liquid snake—simple as that.
When we arrived at the delta area, I was surprised at how wide it was.  I haven’t ever been to a major delta region before.  The river seemed to move very slow and was so wide that it could be mistaken for a lake.
We made four major stops on our boat tour of the delta.  First, we visited a small island that had a bee farm.  There, they had honey tea for us to taste, and of course there was an opportunity to buy some honey.  This kid was an expert bee keeper.
There they also had a huge python for people to hold and take pictures with.  One person said that it was the biggest snake he’d ever seen, then the tour guide corrected saying, “It’s not a snake—its a python.”  Of course.  That’s a distinction without a difference if I ever heard one.
Here’s my fun tourist picture with the python.
Then, we went to a place to listen to traditional music of the region.  The songs were from a traditional Romeo and Juliet style story about two young lovers whose parents didn’t want them to be together.  They served use some interesting fruits during the music.
The fruit in the foreground is called dragon fruit.  It has a pink skin with green pedals or scales on the outside.  The flesh is white and almost apple or pear-like in texture with small black seeds like a kiwi.  It was the first time I’d ever eaten, seen, or even heard of this fruit.
I don’t actually know what the below fruit is.  It is like a big grapefruit with a much milder taste.
Above, in the small dish to the right center is a mound of spiced salt that is used as a condiment when eating fresh fruit.  I must say that I appreciated the spice more than the salt on the fruit.
From there, we went on a canoe ride through a canal to another island.  They had hats for each of the passengers to wear.
Our rower was a middle-aged woman who looked like she was more comfortable on water than on land.  The strap on her hat was made of the same material that her blouse was made from.
The next stop was at a coconut candy factory.  When I think of coconut candy, I think of something with actual coconut flesh in it with chocolate over it.  These candies were more like taffies made from coconut milk. 
The final stop on the tour was for lunch.  The simple lunch that came with the package included some vegetables, rice, and a cut of pork.  It wasn’t bad.  Then, we had a couple hours of down time to laze about in the area in the hammocks and nap or relax.
Overall, I had a great day.  I must say that it was easily the best $10 I’ve ever spent on travel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate comments. If you have a personal message to me, then e-mail would be best.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...