May 2018. It had been quite the action-packed morning in The Mekong Delta. We’d cruised a gorgeous stretch of the iconic river, toured a remote brickmaking village and munched on candy and fruit at a riverside coconut workshop. Next up was some cycling around the country roads and jungle lanes of Nhon Thanh Village. I don’t recall seeing a single car and maybe no more than a handful of farms and modest homes. The village lies just ninety kilometers from Ho Chi Minh, but it could have been light years away.
May 2018. The only village sight of note is this inconspicuous mat-weaving workshop where locals spend their days transforming piles of straw into arts and craft products. Situated at the back of a simple brick house, I’d never have found it independently. Nearly all of the workers here are women, chiefly because their soft hands and superior patience (the guide’s words not mine) make for a more efficient output.
May 2018. Cycling? Tick! Mat-weaving? Tick! We’d all built up quite the appetite, so it was time to set off to a local restaurant expertly hidden in the dense jungle. Ducking under drooping branches and crossing a number of little stone bridges, we followed our guide to a backdrop of birdcall, insect buzzing and rumbling stomachs.
May 2018. We eventually arrived in a pretty garden where we were directed to this unassuming hut restaurant. There was a toilet, an adjacent structure that served as the kitchen and a bunch of chickens pecking around. Settling down at a huge banquet table, we were literally assaulted with an onslaught of delicious dishes.
May 2018. There was stir-fried chicken and pork, chopped omelet, vegetable-stuffed spring rolls and bowls of egg-fried rice. The centerpiece was this amazing fried fish, served whole and perfectly battered from eyeballs to fin.
My daylong Insight Mekong Delta adventure with Deluxe Group Tours cost $45 and also featured a river cruise down the Mekong and fascinating stops at Nhon Thanh Brickmaking Village and Nhon Thanh Coconut Candy Workshop. 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 my pieces from all across Vietnam.
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