After experiencing a rather painful previous first day on our Mekong Delta Tour, our hopes weren’t exactly high for day 2. Initially, we had pictured the Mekong Delta Tour to be enriched with history, culture, and a raw glimpse into the day-to-day lives of the surrounding villages. Unfortunately, the sights that we saw and things that we did were gimmicky and made solely for the purpose of tourists, which was something we wanted to completely avoid. Here’s what you can expect on day 2 of this tour..
Cai Rang Floating Market
We woke up around 7:00 am to have breakfast in the hotel, which was included in our package so don’t expect much, and afterwards checked out of our rooms (we left our bags in the lobby) to set off for the day. Our first stop was the Cai Rang Floating Market. As its name suggests, this markets’ location is on the water. In your boat, you’ll slowly make your way through the floating market, passing boats carrying large loads of fruit and vegetables, cooked food, coconuts, and the like. Some of these boats will approach you to sell coconuts, Vietnamese coffee, and food. You will then have the chance to climb aboard a pineapple boat (second picture above) to buy and eat a freshly cut pineapple.
Vermicelli Noodle Making
Next, you’ll be taken to a small vermicelli noodle production shop where you’ll see how these noodles are made from start to finish. To get a bit of a hands-on experience, we were invited to “shred” the large circular sheets into noodles. You can also buy the noodles here in bulk for, apparently, much cheaper than you would in the market. While this experience was interesting for about 5 minutes, we spent far too long here considering there wasn’t much to see.
Bike Ride & Local Eatery
The last part of the tour was a stop at a bike shop/outdoor kitchen where, if you wanted, you could rent a bike and go for a 30 – 40 minute bike ride around the town (you had to pay for the bike rental). We opted to sit this one out and instead went to the outdoor kitchen, which served some interesting grilled delicacies like frog, rat, and snake. We decided to stick to something much more appetizing (to us, at least): banh xeo, a crispy Vietnamese pancake. Once the others had returned from their bike ride, we made our way by boat back to Can Tho where we had lunch (not included). Afterwards, we made our way back to Ho Chi Minh City by bus.
Overall Thoughts on the Mekong Delta Tour
Ultimately, if there is any means to do some type of a private Mekong Delta tour with a local guide, I would far recommend that option as opposed to going on a big group tour. I do think that there are many interesting aspects to the Mekong Delta tour, however, it was put together in a way that completely lacked authenticity. Instead, I felt like we were carted around from one overly touristy sight to the next without having experienced the Mekong Delta properly.