My Tho – Tortoise island or Unicorn island – Tan Thach (Ben Tre province)
- Taking aboat traveling along the Tien river for sight seeing : fish rafts and viewing four islands of Dragon, Unicorn , Tortoise, Phoenix.
- Visiting Tortoise island or unicorn island, tasting seasonal fruits and listening to the southern traditional music.
- Visiting a coconut candy milk work shop and enjoying coconut candy.
- Get on ahorse cart or “xe loi” (wargon pulled by a motobike) on the country side road.
- Visiting a bee farm and enjoying honey tea.
- Discovering Vam Chua natural canal (Ben Tre province ) by rowing boat, see the daily life of villagers.
- Back to MyTho, finish tour.
cost is $ 18 per person.
If you don't have much time, a visit to the Mekong Delta is a must and there is also a tour which takes you to My Tho, included in the Mekong Delta Tour. There are several options on what to do and just ask the guide or agency as to where they will bring you.
In our case, we drove for about two hours from Ho Chi Minh to reach My Tho. We then went on a cruise of the Tien River, enjoying a view of the FOUR ISLANDS: Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle and Phoenix.
Apparently, there is a fish market and fish raising village along Dragion island but we did not really go into that....instead, we went to a coconut candy mill and then from there, we rode a small motorized cart through narrow roads in the dense tropical growth - having Vietnamese coffee and fruits in a local coffee shop, where I lounged on a hammock after coffee, lol....And then we were brought to a boat which went through the brown river surrounded by dense foliage and ending up in a restaurant whose specialty was the tasty "elephant ear fish".
Other activities which your tour may include (but was not in ours) are riding a horse-drawn cart through village paths to visit a bee-raising farm and taste honey tea and jam, and other opportunities to see local people cultivating fruit trees along with Traditional Vietnamese folk music.
Overall, a great experience to interact with the very warm and friendly locals - I truly enjoyed interacting and smiling with them...
The Mekong River delta is a beautiful and interesting part of southern Vietnam. Only about 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City, it is easily accessible by motorbike, bus, or guided tour. We spent hours on the river, in small canals, and hiking on some of the still-primitive islands. The people, especially the children, were extremely friendly!
We saw Turtle Island with its touristy coconut candy, Unicorn Island where we took a long walk on the island, and one of the islands with a place I think is called Bung Tat Village where we had a wonderful lunch... and a nap in their hammocks.
The Mekong is the world's 12 longest river and runs 2,700 miles through Asia. it is also one of the most diverse areas of the world in terms of flora and fauna.
We took a side trip down Qui Sohn Canal. In this area of narrow canal with thick vegetation, you could really image an ambush taking place during the Vietnam War. We saw locals fishing with nets and in the water up to their necks fishing. Small shacks have big fishing boats, fishing nets hang from trees and are suspended under water. Guess how the local people survive? Fishing, maybe?
Unicorn Island was the highlight of our trip to My Tho. We stopped at a tourist pavilion, but decided to go for a walk on the island. It was a great opportunity to see the locals and their way of life.
We took about thirty minutes here walking along some of the trails, banana groves, shacks, and mansions that line the island. The local kids were so excited to see us, they screamed the only English word they know.... "HELLO!!!"
At Turtle Island, you can see the Vietnamese making coconut candy over an open fire made from coconut shells. They also have banana nut wine and souvenirs.
The island has a few trails along the canals, streams and the Mekong for the customers on a paid tour. There is a tourist restaurant here, but we decided to skip it, and there was really no pressure to go inside.
While the candy making process was interesting, it was really just a show for the tourists. Friendly enough place, but there are less touristy places to explore nearby.
Snake wine is usually found in vats, with rice wine poured in over the body of a snake and left to ferment for some weeks. It is supposed to have medicinal qualities, such as disinfecting cuts and killing lurking bugs after meals, but its social use is predominant. It is found in every self-respecting bar in Vietnam, with smaller bottles kept at home. Most spectacular vats have seven or eight large snakes coiled in the base, and become increasingly dangerous to lift as the drinking goes on.
The snakes, preferably venomous ones, are usually not preserved for their meat. They are preserved to have the snake poison dissolved in the liquor. However, because snake venoms are protein-based, they are unfolded and therefore inactivated due to the influence of the denaturing effects of ethanol.
There are two varieties of snake wine. A large venomous snake can be placed into a glass jar of rice wine, often with many smaller snakes, turtles, insects, or birds, and left to ferment for many months. Snake blood wine is prepared by slicing a snake along its belly and draining its blood into a mixing vat with rice wine or grain alcohol. The gall bladder can be emptied into glasses with wine and the snake meat, liver, and skin can be prepared to accompany the drink.
Snakes are widely believed to possess medicinal qualities and the wine is often advertised to cure everything from farsightedness to hair loss, as well as to increase sexual performance. However, these claims should not all be taken literally as many are likely exaggerated to attract buyers.
Prices starts at 75,000 VND for a Small Bottle to 250,000 VND for a Large Bottle.
Thoi Son Island is a big Bee Farm so if you see insects hovering, chances are they are honeybees so honey is very abundant here and a 500 ml of honey costs 70,000 VND but it depends on your haggling skills!
The local liquor, traditional tonic or medicinal wine can be a concoction of awk rice, corn, herbs, cassava or fruit. Despite the low price, the local liquors are often nothing to turn your nose up at either.
For beginners, Vietnamese liquor can be broken into three general categories: quoc lui of the Hong (Red) River Delta; ruou can in the Northwest and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) and ruou de (rice wine) in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta. This is one of the Ruou de or rice wine or even called medicinal wine.
A 500 ml of the wine cost 40,000 VND and is usually drank with honey and lime as chasers.
tra and basa catfish and the Mekong Delta Specialty, the tai tuong (elephant ear fish) are grown in brackish looking ponds all along the Mekong Delta area, and it has become a speciality of the area. Cooked with its scales on for good fortune, it is served whole standing on its side garnished with sculptured flowers. Deftly taken apart by the waiter it is eaten in a similar manner to crispy duck in a Chinese restaurant, with rice pancakes.
On the other side of Thoi Son, there are a number of longtail boats that transport you through the mangrove swamps up to the main part of mekong delta or to your tour boat. Unless you are on an organised tour, hard bargaining will pay off. No outboard this time. An elderly man and his wife steer with paddles gliding almost silently through the chocolate brown water. A whole network of channels eventually joining up with the main river. Palms and mangroves throw shadows down onto the water, as though they were painting on a huge canvas. Forgive me for waxing lyrical but it is a magical place that I only see in the Vietnam War Movies like platoon and born on the fourth of july.
Thoi Son island and its lush fruit plantations. Virtually every day from May to October there is some rain here so It's hot, humid, lush and tropical hence this is the most fertile area in the whole of vietnam to grow fruits, vegetables and rice! visitors and tourist are served with an enormous platter of assorted fresh tropical fruits; pineapple, mango, pomelo, dragon fruit, longans. Delicious. Tuck in because they expect you to finish it.
Thoi Son island and its fruit plantations produce lush fresh tropical fruits likr pineapple, mango, pomelo, dragon fruit, longans and it's dried variety which they sell you here. Be ready to haggle since this is a touristy area and they sell it at 20,000 VND per 100 gram (Cheaper to buy Vinamit Vaccum packed Dried fruits in Supermarkets in Sai Gon since they sell 100 gram packs there for 11,000 VND!)
Bee pollen is a natural food. It is not a drug. Honeybee pollen contains every known vitamin, all of the minerals, proteins (amino acids), enzymes and coenzymes, fatty acids, and carbohydrates that our bodies need to sustain life, and all in perfect balance.
Bee pollen is used to retard hardening of the arteries, to strengthen the circulatory system and combat the symptoms of illness and allergies. It is believed to regulate the function of the endocrine system, aid digestion, reduce stress and increase alertness and stamina. Bee pollen has more protein by weight than meat, fish or eggs! Bee pollen is the richest known vegetable source of steroid hormones which improve overall strength, muscle mass, endurance and sexual potency. Pollen is known to accelerate healing, and increase blood and sperm count. How To Begin Eating Pollen
ADULTS: 1 teaspoon daily. Endurance runners and weight lifters can take 4-6 teaspoons a day. If you have allergies take Pollen in the morning and again in the afternoon. Pollen is totally safe to take even much larger doses.
CHILDREN: Start children out on 3 to 4 granules in the morning and build up to 1/2 teaspoon a day.
they sell it at 100,000 VND a pack!
a chimæroid fish (Callorhynchus antarcticus), with a proboscis-like projection of the snout. Elephant Ear Fish is a specialty of the Mekong Delta. there are vast fish tanks where fishermen keeps the Elephant Ear fish. The fish are the size of a large platter. They are gutted and fried whole then served standing propped up on a plate between a couple of chopsticks. To eat them you first take a piece of rice paper and dampen it, break off some fish, add cucumber slices, mint and basil leaves and some rice noodles then roll it all up and dip it in a spicy chilli sauce. Finger food at its best.