A Day Exploring The Mekong Delta
I learned the hard way that four days in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is not enough to explore the surrounding cities. I couldn't do the floating market tour in Can Tho which requires two days. I opted for a day in Ben Tre and Mekong Delta. I booked the tour through Ginkgo Voyage for 1,000,000VND ($45/person). A private van picks up the passengers from their designated hotel and drops them off after the tour. Ben Tre is about 30-40 minutes from HCMC, so you won't be wasting time traveling as this is common in Vietnam.
First stop in the itinerary is a brickwork atelier workplace. This is where the bricks are created. You will learn the differences between bricks and which ones are used to make houses and buildings that can withstand anything. The brick-looking house is an oven that is closed off for days to "cook" the bricks before they are ready to be sold.
Next, I hopped into a small powered boat and headed to a coconut processing workshop. The workers showed the various ways of using a coconut. The workshop also sold coconut treats and whiskey with scorpions inside the bottles. If you dare, free tastings are welcome.
Another boat ride to a local mat-weaving house where I had a quick fruit snack as I watched these women make mats to sell.
A short xe-lôi (motorized rickshaw) ride to a local restaurant where I ate lunch. The lunch in all honesty was okay. I was expecting authentic food, but it wasn't.
After lunch, I really enjoyed the bike ride around the village despite the clanking sound from the vintage bike I used. A boat ride through the Mekong Delta was a perfect ending to the tour.