A DIY Trip to Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is well known as a “biological treasure trove” all over the world because of the thousands of plant and animal species that had been sighted there.
Some of these were so rare that they were thought to the extinct. In any case, its strange geography has always had fascination for me – with the chequered land mass jutting out into the ocean.
The area lies to the western extreme of Ho Chi minh City also known as Saigon and is a mix of flood plains as well as the hilly regions.
When we reach Saigon, I could not help noticing the number of billboards all over the place, inviting the tourists for a tour of Mekong delta.
Since it was our first day at this place and most of it had gone in the bus journey, I had a guide to show me around the local areas of the Cu Chi Tunnels as well the motor biking and canyoning venues; but when it came to exploring the famous rice basket the next day, I decided to do it on our own.
There were two factors that contributed to this decision. Firstly, I thought it was far too costly for a day’s outing to take a guide, which was going to cost me $20 and secondly, I thought it would be better to do it at a leisurely pace rather than being hurried up by the guide.
Luckily, my companion, Jacob agreed to the same and so we set off early morning for one of the most memorable days of our stay in Vietnam.
However, there was a slight problem. You see, Mekong Delta is not very well connected and does not have many means of public transport. We had to depend on a rickety bus to take us along a bumpy road to the town named “Mỹ Tho” – the gate-way to Mekong Delta.
All along the bus journey I was amazed to see the number of people riding on two wheelers which seems to be a common mode of transport in rural areas of Vietnam.
The buses stopped at quite a few local joints which I thought were not very well kept; but then again, it gave a totally realistic and local backdrop to our trip.
Early morning on the next day, we took a boat to show us around the delta. Mind you, renting these the boats cost quite a bit, but is the best way to explore the region.
There were captivating sites throughout, as the boat meandered through the muddy waters and jungles. We could spot a number of rare birds’ species and took lot of pictures.
On the way we also came across a honey farm as well as an alligator farm. There seemed to be quite a few farms along the way which specialized in something or the other that made the entire day exciting.
It was dark by the time we reached back to the hotel and started to relax after a hard day.
On the way back next day, the journey was in the same bus but this time we were carrying with us the memories of a day well spent in the narrow canals of the Mekong delta.