Today, we had our first view of rural Vietnam. We started the day out at 7:00 A.M. with breakfast and them went on our way to the Delta. It took us an hour and a half/ two hours to get there and we walked right onto a boat once we arrived. We went to the first island and we saw this really cool coconut candy being made through a really old time-y process. We actually got to walk through the factory and see how it was made and sample it. I am not a huge fan of coconut but even I liked the taste. We then took motorbike trucks out onto the island and got to see all the lush and beautiful greenery. This day trip can best be summed up with pictures so I will attach them at the end. Then we ended up at a place with a crocodile cage and lunch! We had a traditional fried fish for lunch with a lot of many other little sides. The fish was actually pretty normal.
The second island was Coconut island where we saw a lot of beautiful decorative objects painted in vibrant colors. It looked like an old amusement park and it seemed very zen. We got to walk and take pictures of the island, which was really cool. We saw a crocodile pit where you could feed them meat and a few people loved that portion. I also tried grilled crocodile! I never thought I would but I adopted the mentality today of “When in Rome” except for Vietnam.
The third Island was really different. We walked on and there were so many bees. It was really cool because I got to “pet” a bee. If I did it very lightly, they would not sting me back. We also got to try the sweet, warm honey and it was so incredible. Speaking of honey, they lead us to a tea shop on the island where they served us a tiny cup with honey, lemon, peanut pieces, and water. It was incredible. We also got a few snacks made from their honey as well. Then, as we were drinking our tea, they offered to let us hold a massive snake….of course, I had to say yes. The island looked very dense with foliage, however, a lot of people weren’t there. I thought we just went to an unpopular one. However, they took us through canals on these streams, and I then found all the tourists and residents.
It was alarming because you weren’t able to see the environmental issues we had learned about taking effect yet. I thought we would see dead rice patties and displaced islands. That fact seems to be the biggest issue because no on can really see the worst that is to come, so they aren’t as worried as they should be about protecting it. Our tour guide spoke about it which supplemented the research I had done on the issue. There were temples on every island, but what stood out to me the most was the beautiful greenery that was no doubt watered by the Mekong. It was so lush and full. There seemed to be coconut or fruit trees everywhere. The people were all friendly, even in the small island countryside they were waving and saying hello!
Finally, we made a roadside stop to see a rice farm. The farm was huge, but we actually got to peel back rice grains to reveal white rice. I can imagine how this industry is about to be almost ruined by the salinity levels rising in the Mekong. This will be devastating because as we drive and ride around the area, it is covered in rice patties. I can only hope the government is able to intervene to help.