Life on the Mekong River
If you fancy an adventure, take a three hour bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City and get yourself to Cai Be. From there, you will be able to enlist the services of one of the many women who pilot boats up the Mekong River. Hardly a word of Engish is spoken, and if you enlist the help of a local 'guide,' they can help you negotiate a trip up and down the Mekong Delta for a small fee. As boats pass one another, the female pilots give a knowing nod of recognition across the water, while at other times they will yell a few words of greeting back and forth. There are small, family-run places to stop along the river and have lunch. The random one I visited had a hammock for a post-meal nap, and also had bikes you could take for a spin around the area if you were feeling more adventurous. After my day's adventures and big meal, I opted for the nap.
By Matthew Keesecker, AFAR Local Expert
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