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Travel in Vietnam: The Mekong Delta

Updated on June 30, 2013
Iammattdoran profile image

Matt is an avid traveller and self-confessed 'man of the world'. He is passionate about his home city, Manchester, and about travelling.

Mekong Delta Pictures

Floating Markets, Mekong Delta
Floating Markets, Mekong Delta | Source

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

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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
Our Mekong Delta Homestay | Source

Our Mekong Delta Homestay pictures

Relaxing with a Saigon beer
Relaxing with a Saigon beer | Source
Delicious Mekong Food
Delicious Mekong Food | Source

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's: Playing games in the Mekong village bar
Mekong Delta Photo's: Playing games in the Mekong village bar | Source

Mekong Delta photo's

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mekong Delta pictures: JackfruitMekong Delta pictures: Duck FarmMekong Delta pictures: Locals fishingMekong Delta pictures: Star FruitMekong Delta pictures: PineappleMekong Delta pictures: BananasMekong Delta pictures: PomeloMekong Delta pictures: RambutanMekong Delta pictures: Dragon FruitMekong Delta pictures: Limes
Mekong Delta pictures: Jackfruit
Mekong Delta pictures: Jackfruit | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Duck Farm
Mekong Delta pictures: Duck Farm | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Locals fishing
Mekong Delta pictures: Locals fishing | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Star Fruit
Mekong Delta pictures: Star Fruit | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Pineapple
Mekong Delta pictures: Pineapple | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Bananas
Mekong Delta pictures: Bananas | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Pomelo
Mekong Delta pictures: Pomelo | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Rambutan
Mekong Delta pictures: Rambutan | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Dragon Fruit
Mekong Delta pictures: Dragon Fruit | Source
Mekong Delta pictures: Limes
Mekong Delta pictures: Limes | Source

Mekong Food

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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    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Thanks for the comment. I truly had an amazing time in Vietnam. It was awesome!

    • travelholidays profile image

      travelholidays 4 years ago from India

      Interesting to read your trip over Vietnam. Nice hub thanks dude :)

    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Thanks for the comment and vote srsddn!

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      iammattdoran, Home stay seems to be a great idea. Well, it may be difficult at times unless it is customary in that area or somebody arranges. Certainly there are many minor details about the life style of people which cannot be experienced otherwise. Jack fruit is so near to the ground on a big tree. It is amazing to see it growing so low. I have seen it at Dehra Dun. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.