February 20, 2016

Ho Chi Minh #2 : Row Row, Row Your Boat!

First of all, sorry for the late, I have come down with a fever this past few day which kind of ruined my creative senses. But hey, here we go.

Day 2 (6/2/2016) Saturday
As you can see on the title above, this post will be full of our picture on the boat because we are going for a tour at Mekong River. This is kind of a must thing to do if you happened to visit Ho Chi Minh.

We booked the tour one day before with Chu Chi Tunnel package and it seems like, we are quite lucky because our hotel was nearby to everything including tour booking office.

Below are the pictures of the office! 

They offer various type of tour which is private, small, big and deluxe tour which using our common sense big group was much cheaper than the rest. I suggest, take full day tour because I can say it was very interesting and fun journey (as for me). 

Below are the price lists for Mekong Delta Full Day Tour (An Travel):

Private Tour
$140 for 3 pax included:
  • Car
  • Lunch
  • Tour Guide
  • Boats
  • Juice
Small Group Tour
$16 per pax included:
  • Bus 18 - 22 pax
  • Tour Guide
  • Lunch
  • Boats
Big Group Tour
$13 per pax included:
  • Same as small group but 35 to 45 pax
Deluxe Tour
$33 per pax

  • Car
  • Lunch
  • Tour Guide
  • Boats
Since in Bali we already experienced private tour, in Saigon we took the big group tour which is really affordable and later on you can splurge it to FOOD!

The bus picked us up in front of that tour office around 8 AM which is surprisingly very punctual. Then, they pick up other people at their hotel, make a big round in the city.

This is very time-consuming and if you are not that patient enough to experienced this, please try to be or you can pick up the private or deluxe tour. (But, please experienced things that you have never try, it's worth it).

Road to Mekong River took around 1 and a half hour / 2 hours. Along the way, you will have few minutes of 'happy time' at Mekong Rest Stop and visit a temple.

Expression when I get any Green Tea products.

Advisable to bring Power Bank in case you used your phone to hear music, a book or just sleep throughout the journey. 

Vin Trang Temple
As you might know, Saigon population mostly are Buddhist belief, and this temple is one of the best-known temples in the region. We were given 15 minutes to walk around the temple and I get to see a women dress in their traditional wear, Ao Dai having a photoshoot session.

My Tho Dock
My inner child scream like 'Yahoo! Boats!'. Thank god, I was not sea sick because if I did, I would not enjoy any single of this.

First stop: Coconut
Tour guide played very big role in explaining every single thing that happened to you. He first showed how to peel the coconut and every single of it will be used either to make a souvenir or candy!

Then, he explained about the process of caramel. Lastly, coconut candy testing! They don't just came out with an original flavour, but various types like durian + coconut, chocolate + coconut and others.

Second stop: Road to Lunch
Not your typical road to lunch because we are riding a horse-drawn cart through the village! Here is the only chance where you can feel like Alice in the Wonderland or Cinderella (exaggerating).

When I just started enjoying myself and feeling like a queen, we arrived at our lunch place. Along the way, they have a humble souvenir shop. Oh, don't forget we are still at coconut island. 

Finding a halal food in Vietnam quite hard, the only way to survived is to be vegetarian for a while.

Restaurant where we had our lunch!

(Burp) Alhamdulillah! Don't worry we are not in a rush at all. This lunch place provides free bike ride, for us to ride around the village.

Third stop: Bee Farm
Mekong Delta makes you feel like out of our comfort zone for a while, where our daily vehicle to reach a certain destination is by car. But here, rowing boat are your main vehicle.

They take us back to the previous place and switched to big boats to go to the Bee Farm.

Please! If you are in that Coconut Island, try this air tebu for only 10,000 VND.
You don't have to be afraid when arrived here because the bee won't sting you. Plus, we will be served by that delicious honey tea with a light snack. 

Honey tea recipe: Spoonful of honey, a teaspoon of dried bee pollen, half of fresh lime juice and pour the hot water! 

Along the way, they will start to explained and bring out their merchandise like honey, royal jelly and dried bee pollen. I bought one of their merchandise which honey at RM20 and I might think it would worth it since there was no preservatives and 100% pure.

Fourth stop: Fruit Farm
Back to rowing boat.

The guy that rowing the boat told me that it's a 1 km journey (I'm not sure if this true since they are good at what they are doing). But I can simply say that it was a pleasant journey.

This is the last stop before going back to the city and a very good ending since I really love fruit (pstt, I took some banana and buah mata kucing). 

They served us with tea and fruits (banana, papaya, buah mata kucing, pineapple and others). The way they eat pineapple are full of sweet and sour! With a bit of salt and chillies, dab your pineapple in it, trust me, it was so good.

Oh! Besides that delicious fruits, they also performed their traditional song (that was something different). 

Overall, I feel very welcoming and learn something about their culture. Therefore, make sure to book a day tour at Mekong Delta!

Now, we are going back to Ho Chi Minh City. Please note that upon arrival they would not send you back to your hotel. They will stop in front of their tour office which is An Travel, and give you directions to went back safely.

When we arrived at the hotel, we decided to take a break before having our dinner.

Dinner at Kampung Pandan
Tonight will be the first time I taste their common food which is Pho Bo (Beef Noodle)!

What I noticed since I came here, their food portion is very large and since I'm a big eater, it never been better. If you happened to come here, please try rice noodle with beef... (didn't know the full name since the receipt cut of some words).

Rice noodle with beef...
Pho Bo
Our overall expenses are 352,000 VND (Beef noodle, chicken noodle, rice noodle with beef, lemon soda and fresh orange)

Nguyen Hue Street 
Unplanned to experienced their flower street which happened only on Tet Festival. A lot of beautiful flowers, very colourful and calming consider this street will be packed with people.

Day view 

Night view 1

Night View 2

That's all for the second post, see you on the third post!

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