Vietnam – Exploring the Mekong River
We had an early start from the hotel. I was staying at the Pullman Saigon Centre, which was well located in District One near the famous ‘Backpacker Street’.
Setting off in a small mini-van, it was a long two-hour drive to get to Cai Be, where we boarded our local wooden motor boat. These boats would carry about 12 people plus the driver
and had open sides to really appreciate all that was going on around you.
The banks of the river here were bustling with activity from floating markets to lots of locals living in houseboats going about their daily chores.
While cruising down the wide brown river, we came across a fruit vendor selling local green coconuts with a hole cut through and a straw to sample the sweet juice. As the weather had started warming up, this was a most welcome refreshment.
We stopped a few times to see how local treats like coconut candy and crispy rice popcorn were made, with lots of tasty samples to try. We also visited a local village plantation of massive Jackfruit, which I had never really seen or tasted before. Hard to really describe the taste and texture other than it’s sweet and a little like a mango but less juicy. Lunch was such a hands-on experience, where we visited a local family and assisted in some of the food preparation which was then cooked and served. My favourite was the zucchini flowers filled with a fish paste and then shallow fried. Delicious!