I was picked up by mini bus from my hotel and we drove through Saigon peak hour traffic to a central place where all the day trip busses were parked.
Luckily I got the front seat behind the driver so I could take lots of photos out the front window of the bus.
As we were leaving Saigon, I was able to see that not all of Saigon has been updated to provide housing, as there were many slum areas on the other river bank.
On the sides of the roads in the rural areas were many markets selling all sorts of goods. Unfortunately we didn’t stop, but I got some good photos that show the atmosphere.
We saw shrines in the rice fields, which the guide told us were tombs to parents and ancestors of the people who owned and worked the land.
We stopped at a roadside toilet stop, where we were able to witness the repair of high voltage power lines. There was no to little WHS observed, with workers at height with no fall protection, and even no shoes! All the westerners on the tours stared and took lots of photos. I’ve travelled to lots of places, but I’ve never seen construction like this before.
One stretch of road had lots of red flags with a yellow star, which is the Vietnamese flag. They lined both sides of the street.
The first place we went to was a Buddhist temple at Vinh Trang Pagoda and spend lots of time walking around the temple grounds, and looking at the three Buddhas (sitting, standing and reclining).
We then headed to the river and went for a boat cruise along one of the arms of the Delta. The water was really murky and there were lots of floating plants. There were also many brightly coloured boats on the river.
We stopped for lunch and had a “make-your-own” rice paper rolls with fish, prawns and fresh garden herbs and lettuce. It was really good, filling and fresh.
After lunch, we continued our boat ride along the delta and saw floating markets and more boats.
We stopped at a coconut lolly factory (which was just a shelter). We were able to taste the lollies, and they were super sweet! I was tempted to buy some, but I knew they wouldn’t last long before I ate all of them and made myself sick.
We then took a short walk to a narrow river / creek and got into smaller boats. We went for a paddle along the creek, which was really serene. The photos no the tour pages show lots of boats and people, but it was really quiet and you could think yours was the only boat there.
We then took a walk along a jungle path and sat down to watch a local musical group play their traditional instruments and sing.
The trip back to Saigon was just as interesting and I took a lot of photos out of the bus window. I think I should start a new hashtag – #thethingsyouseeonbikes
The crazy Saigon driving! Try crossing the road – they don’t have pedestrian crossings like we do in Australia or any other western country I’ve visited.
The tour that I took was this one: https://www.tnktravel.com/tours/vietnam/vietnam-day-trips/day-trips-in-ho-chi-minh-city/my-tho-ben-tre-the-upper-mekong-river-full-day-trip/