Ho Chi Minh City: Mekong Delta

For our first full day in HCMC we took a tour of the Mekong Delta. Like Halong Bay, the region is vast, and the tourist glimpse is inevitably incomplete. I also would have liked to have seen some of the war zones that we saw photos of at the War Museum the day before. However, the tour was fun and interesting, and our guide was particularly entertaining.

This first set of pix is from a tourist potty stop and restaurant complex along the road from HCMC to the Mekong Delta…

The next set of pix is from a famous Buddhist Temple in the Mekong region, Vinh Trang. First, just the outside which includes the temple building, monuments, sepulchres, and three enormous Buddha sculptures…

This set of pix is from the inside of Vinh Trang temple, mostly a series of alters…

We finally made it to the first of three different boats. This one took us across a large section of the river to Unicorn Island. There we had some some honey tea and honey snacks, some fruit snacks and other tea, and the kids got to handle a Burmese python. We also were entertained with some local music. BTW, on our tour we were accompanied by a mother, son, and daughter from the Philippines, and two sisters from Thailand. Here ya go…

After riding in the big boat on the big river, we rode in small boats on a small creek. There was a veritable armada of these row boats coming back empty from having already deposited their load of tourists. We were traveling through a forest of water palms, not loved for their smaller coconut clusters, but for their leaves used in roofing. After that we took a little horse & carriage ride to the place we had lunch…

We had lunch at a place that had gators, frogs, and something like porcupines. They served elephant fish (that have fins like elephant ears) and an abundance of Vietnamese food. Then we took a medium size boat through a medium sized section of river tributary. At some point we stopped at a coconut candy operation and followed mashed coconut through the process of becoming tasty little candy treats. The gift shop had about fifty million other interesting coconut-based products. Enjoy…

Here are some video clips from the various boats we rode on…

 

Study Questions:

  1. Research the Mekong Delta. For what is it known? Describe the ecosystem.
  2. Research the Vinh Trang Temple (see link). Describe some of it’s features.
  3. Consider tourism. How best should it be done? Should tourists buy all the stuff they are offered? What is socially and environmentally responsible tourism?

 

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