rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
The Mekong Delta is all about water. If you go to this region and do not get out on the water, you will be missing the whole thing. You pretty much have to at some point to get anywhere, as roads are broken up by the natural landscape of inescapable water, water, water. The floating markets are perhaps the regions biggest attractions so you're bound to run across a few of them, tour or no tour. Though I normally do not go for all-inclusive deals, especially those involving group travel, sometimes they are too good to pass up. Such was the case when exploring the options for visiting the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Many do mere day trips from Saigon but the area is vast and most of your time is spent in transit, especially through the sprawling suburbs that emanate from what has become known as Ho Chi Minh City. Those with lots of time, patience, and gusto, venture down into the area on local buses. I spoke to a few that had done it and they said it was very rewarding. They found the people friendly and prices good. But the downside was the buses were more expensive than going on the group trips and not as convenient or easy to use as they had hoped for.
So, what has become the norm now for most shoestring travelers and even many more upscale ones, is to do all-inclusive trips into the area for one to three days. We opted for a three day one that took us not only to the famed Delta area but also to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, which was to be our next port of call anyway. The price was great, including transportation, some meals, all entrances and even our accommodation. I would have been very hard pressed to find such deals even though it is my forte in travel. It looked too good to be true so we set our expectations low. (continued below in Fondest Memory)