Today was easily the most fun day of the trip so far! We started bright and early again with a 7 AM departure for the Mekong Delta. Before the trip, we had read a good deal on the problems of upriver damming and salinization from the ocean are negatively impacting this critical economic region, but this was not very apparent from our trip. We bounced from island to island by boat, sampling different foods and seeing different sights along the way. Our first stop was “coconut island” where we boarded a rickshaw like vehicle (motorbike pulling a cart with benches to sit one) and embarked on a bumpy ride through the countryside to see how the average farmer lives. After a short walk following this ride, we arrived at our lunch destination and were served fresh fish caught from the Mekong and a combination of other rice and seafood dishes- all delicious. This lunch spot was complete with an alligator pond, several snakes, and hammocks to relax in.
After lunch, we hopped in much smaller boats for a quick ride down a smaller tributary that took us back to the main boat waiting on the Mekong. Throughout the day we stopped at several other locations to sample foods such as natural bee honey, alligator, fresh fruit, and more; and for an array of activities such as “tightrope walking”, rowing downriver in a canoe, and holding/taking pictures with a snake. When we finally boarded the bus again I thought the day was over, but low and behold we had one more stop at a nearby rice field. We had the opportunity to walk around the field and see how to harvest the grain, another extremely interesting experience. All around this was another incredible day in Vietnam; the standard has been set for the Cu Chi Tunnel System tomorrow!