We took an all-day tour of the Mekong near Ho Chi Minh City. After a bus ride to our origin, we went from stop to stop on a riverboat.
One of the highlights was seeing the floating markets.
Boats would come to a central spot and drop anchor, mostly carrying a type of produce. Other boats would come up and buy from them. To show what they are selling, they put a specimen up on a long pole:
This seems to be a dying way of doing business, as now most sales are pre-arranged by cell phone.
We stopped at several shops to see traditional crafts and foods made. We saw a rice vodka still. There was a store selling honey, pollen, and royal jelly, with samples of hot tea with honey and kumquat slices.
We bought some coconut candy from another store. Next, a lady was making rice paper, which was fascinating to see how quickly she could pull the fragile dough off the steamer to let it dry.
Then, we saw someone puffing rice:
These are pressed together with other ingredients make what are a bit like rice crispy treats.
Then, we saw some traditional songs performed by locals and went to lunch. The lunch was delicious, a variety of spring rolls, including some that were made for us at the table from a fried fish. We were not sure on how to eat the meal but were lucky and seated with 4 women from Vietnam. They helped show us the proper way to eat the food. It was also great to share conversation with them about their lives and customs.
We also saw a number of fruit growing on one of the islands in the delta. We could see up close the difference between jackfruit:
We made a final stop in a very non-touristy market, full of huge piles of produce, and lots of odd shops like locksmiths, nuts & bolts, etc.
Ho Chi Minh City is very beautiful. Many of the streets are tree-lined in the style of French avenues, and so many stores have bright green and red signs lighting up the night.