Travel in Vietnam: The Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta Pictures
Mekong Delta Homestay
On our trip to the Mekong Delta we wanted to do something a bit different. We enjoyed seeing all the different islands and the river markets and the canoe trips etc. but we really wanted to experience what it was like to actually live in the Mekong Delta. And so, at the end of our Mekong Delta tour (a tour that we’d organised from Ho Chi Minh City) as we were dropped off in the middle of the city of Can Tho we asked around to see if a Mekong Delta homestay option was available. And with the help of our tour guide we were hooked up with a local family who offered up homestay options. Half an hour later two guys turned up on my motorbikes. We jumped on the back and we were whisked off to our Mekong Delta home for the night.
Pretty soon we were clear of the city of Can Tho and following the course of a tributary of the Mekong River. Signs of developed life were becoming more and more scarce until eventually we started down a dirt track only wide enough for motorbikes. We crossed one bridge, then another, then another passing through several tiny little villages all hugging the sides of this little track. And then just as the sun was setting for the evening we arrived at our Mekong Delta homestay.
Mekong Delta Map
Getting Acquainted at our Mekong Delta Homestay
Our host couldn't speak much English but we somehow managed to communicate with each other. He showed us to our room which was cute and basic and pretty much what we expected from a Mekong Delta homestay. We couldn't wait to spend the night here. He then introduced us to his family and tried to explain that they were making preparations for a festival that was happening the next day in remembrance of the life of his Grandfather who had died 10 years previous. He told to relax while they prepare our Mekong dinner.
Our Mekong Delta Homestay
Our Mekong Delta Homestay pictures
Delicious Home-made Mekong Food
As we waited for our home-cooked Mekong food to be prepared for dinner we grabbed a Saigon beer and lay back in the hammocks surveying our awesome Mekong Delta homestay surroundings. For dinner we had a selection of delicious Mekong food including a whole fish that was freshly caught from the river outside the house. It was cooked to perfection and so full of flavour. To accompany the Mekong fish we had what seemed to be soft small pancakes like the ones you get with crispy duck in Chinese restaurants. There was fresh salad, vegetables and lots of other delicious accompaniments. This meal was fantastic and we ate with great haste and determination! Once we had finished dinner our host came and talked with us and asked us if we wanted to walk to the village bar with him. Naturally, we said hell yes.
Mekong Village Bar
The Mekong village bar was an open space with a basic roof and plastic chairs and tables. There was one guy who worked there who just kind of sat around chatting and drinking glasses of tea like everyone else. It appeared tea was the only drink available until one of my hosts friends pulled out a bottle of vodka which is said he bought in Can Tho. He took a swig and then passed it to our host. Our host then passed it to me. I wasn't sure about this but thought hey, what the hell. The bottle was passed round several more times until it was finished. The only patrons of this Mekong bar were men. It reminded me of how British pubs were during the years of my childhood when I used go to the pub on a Sunday Afternoon with my Dad whilst my mom stayed home and made dinner (as out-dated as that sounds now). It was a place where men went to drink and socialise.
Whilst at this Mekong village bar some Mekong Delta locals even taught me how to play a new game. The game was played on a billiards table with only three balls. I've completely forgotten how the game went now but I remember playing a few games and being totally useless. They took great delight in watching me fail though so at least I provided them with some entertainment. After losing a few games it was time to return to our Mekong Delta homestay.
Playing Games in the Mekong Village Bar
Mekong Delta photo'sClick thumbnail to view full-size
The next day we had some more delicious Mekong food for breakfast and had some time to wonder around the grounds of our Mekong Delta homestay and the local area. We saw that the families in this Mekong village had such plentiful food supplies in all kinds of forms. There were duck farms on the river; everyone had a boat for fishing and taking goods to the river market; everyone had hens and chickens running about. But what really astounded me was the enormous variety of fruit growing all around us. Much more fruit than they could ever eat, so much of it was sold at market. I have included some photos below showing all the different fruits growing within metres of our host family’s house. If you’re ever in Vietnam and are considering a Mekong Delta trip (which you must) then I really recommend a home-stay to get a much closer insight into the way of life in this wonderful part of the world.
Mekong Delta Homestay Poll
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Check out my other Vietnam Hubs:
- Visiting Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
A tourist guide to visiting Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, including information on what is Ha Long Bay and where is Ha Long Bay.
- How to Spend a Great day in Hoi An, Vietnam
A guide to visiting the french colonial town of Hoi An in central Vietnam
- Experience the Best of Vietnam in Only 2 Weeks
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