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A day in Mekong




Hello again everyone. Hope you all are doing good as here I am with yet another travel blog. So the country I am about to write today has been my most satisfying travel experience so far in Southeast Asia. Yes, you can guess it from the heading itself, it is Vietnam. Vietnam is like a mysterious treasure. You've got to dig deep to find it, which is exactly what happened with me. Upon arriving at the port of Phu My, I had no idea as to how my shore excursion is going to be because I could see certainly nothing miles and miles away. Our travel escort was this young, entertaining and lively boy, he was very hard-working as he could not converse well in English yet he gave his 100%. So basically our shore excursion was to the Mekong River Delta, a quick introduction - it is also known as the Nine Dragon river delta, the river starts in the Himalayas and passes through China, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar & Cambodia before reaching Vietnam.


The exteriors of the Pagoda


So while we were heading towards the Mekong region, we crossed the Ho Chi Minh City also known as Saigon to the locals. It was a very different experience as one could just see rice fields everywhere as it is the principal crop production of Vietnam. It was a long drive of around 3 hours one way from Phu My to Mekong Delta. Nearly arriving there, we stopped at the famous Vinh Trang Pagoda- a Buddhist temple, it is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples I have ever visited as it has a mixture of Asian & European architecture. There are various statues of Buddhas in the vicinity, moreover, you get a very serene and secured feel in there.




The interiors of the Pagoda.


Post visiting the Pagoda, we were travelling towards the fishing shore for the most awaited part of the journey - the Island tour. Upon reaching the fishing shore, we boarded a boat which has these eyes painted on the sides in the front to scare away the crocodiles, yes all the boats have these eyes painted as the river had a lot of crocodiles in the past but right now it is safe to travel. The locals there gave us juicy coconuts on the way.



So it took us to a small island known as Unicorn Island. Just like the name given, it is the most beautiful place in the entire neighbourhood. The first thing that they welcomed us with was pure honey chips, honey drink and a view to some honeybees.


The honey products


The island has too many naturally grown fruits such as Dragonfruits, Jackfruits, Bananas, Guavas, Custard apples, Lychees, Mangoes, Watermelons, Cashew fruit, etc. I saw Carambola also known as the Starfruit which is very unusual to see as it is grown in only some parts of South East Asia and the Caribbean. Post the snacks session we were acquainted with some traditional Vietnamese songs along with some fruits to eat, but apart the food the women there sang gracefully.


Varieties of Fruits


The Carambolas aka Starfruits



The singing session


After the fun session, we were taken on a tour of the farm on the island where all these fruits and vegetables are grown and then we reached a point where we were going to do the most amazing thing - popular boat ride wearing those traditional conical hats. I cannot exactly put it in words the kind of feeling I had while sitting in that boat but it was mesmerising so I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.


The farm tour



Once the ride was done, we reached the coconut candy factory wherein several hardworking women were committed to making the candies. With this, our Unicorn Island tour came to an end.

The coconut candy factory



However, the next place we went for lunch was a restaurant called Mekong Rest Stop which was the most charming restaurant in that region as it was circled only by greenery. I had completely new and different cuisine in there, a typical Vietnamese cuisine which I have never had before, they gave us this Lotus seeds drink, they had this huge fried ball with sticky rice in it, they also served us a fried Elephant ear fish, also freshly stewed shrimps with different kinds of sauces. This restaurant is one beautiful picturesque place. It was our tour guide who had picked it up for us and it turned out to be the best. I would suggest it to anyone planning to go to the Mekong.



The exteriors of the restaurant.




The Vietnamese cuisine


Here you can see in the last picture above is the fried ball with sticky rice inside. To its left is lotus seeds water and above is the elephant ear fish and stewed prawns along with other sauces and salads which is a typical Vietnamese cuisine. So guys that is how I spent my day in the Mekong Delta. Hope you have liked my blog along with the pictures. Do share your stories if you have ever been to Vietnam. Until then Hasta la Vista!!!!

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