Our second day trip started off pretty well in that we learnt from yesterday’s mistakes and allocated enough time to purchase sandwiches. However, as life likes to throw curveballs, the minivan taking us there was slightly over booked. Luckily we managed to nab seats, but it wasn’t the most comfortable of journeys – broken air con and broken seats. Anyways, let me stop complaining. It wasn’t that bad! We took a boat across the river upon arrival and stopped off at island (1/3).
À la The Hunger Games, each island was specialised in a particular area and the first one we visited was all about the coconuts. There was a short demonstration on how the coconuts were processed, then we were given samples of sweets to try while we browsed the stalls selling a large variety of coconut based products. As the next wave of tourists started to disembark onto the island we were quickly shuttled to the next!
This one (2/3) was more of a tired resort, boasting an abandoned fairground, a crocodile enclosure where tourists could pay to feed the crocodiles pieces of meat on a string and shops full of souvenirs. Encouraged by our tour guide to cross a fragile looking bamboo bridge (it was literally 6 thin canes of bamboo) and surviving, we then spotted a large net hanging over a pond and got the idea it was another interactive feature for visitors. Nope. No. Bad idea. My friend was first to test the waters (heh) and promptly proceeded to fall into the pond. Alas, our hammock revealed itself to be a fishing net, not designed to support human weight. A local guy nearby had also witnessed this and was laughing with us as I frantically tried to pull my friend out of the water. Some people have great inspiring travel stories, and we have that one time we thought a fishing net was a hammock.
Next stop on our tour was an island of bee farms (3/3). We got to sample some of the honey made there and got given a sales pitch on their range of honey-based skin care products. Then the tour guide randomly produced a snake, startling other members of the tour party so much that they fell over in their haste to run away. I did get to hold the snake which was pretty cool! It wasn’t how I’d imagined them to feel like, much fleshier and softer than expected. It can only be described as akin to holding a dry fish.
Next on the itinerary was the tea ceremony and traditional song performance wherein the ladies performing looked extremely bored whilst doing so. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be much more enthusiastic either, considering it was likely their 20th performance of that day! Informed by our tour guide that it was due to rain heavily soon, we briskly made our way to the paddle boat station for a quick ride along the smaller channels of the delta. Authenticity is a strange thing, this was where I felt like I was actually travelling in Vietnam, but the whole thing was so centred around tourists it was definitely not a true representation. I did enjoy it though! And the whole day tour was so cheap, it’s great for the money conscious!