May 2018. Just about every cruise of The Mekong Delta River includes a number of cultural stops that in theory should deepen your understanding of the area’s history and culture. Choose the wrong tour and you’ll find yourself being taken to a succession of soulless, overpriced souvenir stores. For my daylong cruise with Deluxe Group Tours however things were different. Our first stop was this little brickmaking village perched right on the edge of the river in Ben Tre Province.
May 2018. The village produces bricks using clay taken directly from The Mekong. In this photo you can see a mountain of rice husks behind these lounging locals, who seemed pretty apathetic about us wandering through their homes. I guess they’re used to the drill. The rice husks are a key part of the brickmaking process as they’re actually used for fuel!
May 2018. Molding the clay into brick form, the locals allow several weeks in the burning sun to dry before feeding them into the fires of the village’s orange-bricked kilns. There were about a dozen of these babies in the village, forming a unique beehive-like skyline.
May 2018. We were able to enter one of the kilns, which was very cool. The firing process can last up to multiple days and apparently the heat inside can be so fierce locals only enter with protective goggles, a hat of some kind and overalls. Each kiln is said to be good for about 50 years before it needs to be replaced.
May 2018. This storage barn shows a large amount of bricks (forefront) waiting to be hauled off for firing. The orange colored bricks in the background are ready to be taken away for delivery.
My daylong Insight Mekong Delta adventure with Deluxe Group Tours cost $45 and also featured a river cruise down the Mekong, a fascinating stop at Nhon Thanh Coconut Workshop and some cycling followed by a hearty lunch at Nhon Thanh Village. We also hit Vinh Trang Pagoda on the drive back to Ho Chi Minh. They’ll pick you up by minivan from your hotel somewhere between 08:00-08:30 and you’ll get back at about 17:00. Anyone who knows me will attest I’m more than capable of being a complainer when the opportunity arises, but I can honestly say that with these guys you’re in good hands. For more information pay them a visit at: https://www.deluxegrouptours.vn
For more on the region check out my guide on what to see and do in Ho Chi Minh.
Or maybe delve further afield with more of my pieces from all across Vietnam.
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