Because Kat will not be trackin’ this way again. The Mekong Delta was a name I heard a lot during the war and I guess curiosity got the best of this Kat. So here we are. The Mekong Delta is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, villages and surrounded by rice paddies where boats of all types are the main means of transportation.
The Mekong River is the 12th longest river in the world. Today we just touched a portion of this brown and muddy river that is still wild and free. During the war, The Delta region saw savage fighting between the Viet Công guerillas and units of the U.S. Navy’s swift boats and hovercrafts. Our guide said, “Americans think they lost so much because of the casualties but we lost too; 5 million to your 500,000 and Agent Orange will continue to affect our plant and human life for the next 50 years”. Land mines are still exploding when people unknowingly land on them killing entire families. Nevertheless, these humble people allow us into their country and treat us with the highest degree of dignity and respect. It’s such a beautiful country.
We had to drive 2 hrs from Saigon to a Province called BEN TRE, located on a branch of the river. Upon arrival, we all paid a visit to a nearby “Happy Room” and then boarded our motorized Sampan. Then at a point we disembarked and began a very long walk in the hot blazin’ sun. Yeah, I was complaining…”Are we there yet”? , now what?” Chauncey and her mom had to bring up when we were in Egypt under similar circumstances out of my comfort zone and we had to walk through mud and poop (me in my Louis Vuitton sandals) to get in a cart pulled by a damn donkey to take us down the hill. I honestly believe “Comfort” is my middle name.
Today it seemed like we walked for miles in the hot sun and heat as we visited a coconut candy factory where they also sold this snake wine that’s supposed to work wonders for men. Smh. Then a stop at a mat making place. At some point we got in a Tuk Tuk (different from the ones in Bangkok). The order of events are kind of foggy to me but finally lunch at a Riverside Homestay. Homestay….if you want to get away from it all and be on the under without creature comforts; this is the place. Lol. On the menu was “elephant ear fish”. It’s a delicacy here, deep fried with scales and fins and served on a rack. The server rakes the fish off and prepares spring rolls with rice noodles and vegetables in rice paper. I passed on all that spring roll business. I just raked off some of the sweet fish and nibbled on that, tasted some of the pumpkin soup, had a couple prawns and called it a day…. so ready to get the heck back to Saigon. Little did we realize we had to first get in these tiny row boats to get us back to the motorized sampan to get us to the station to board our bus. Those tiny row boats were nothing nice. Most of us had some kind of challenging issues getting in and out but thank God we made it.
Finally back in Saigon, there was some talk about going to the “Night Market”. Lol. Okay, no thank you! My tired behind headed straight to my room where I remained for the evening. Mama Yvonne arrived from Indonesia, Yeah!!!! Tomorrow we fly to DA NANG and make our way to Hoi An, the culinary capital of Vietnam and I cannot wait.