The Mekong Delta was the most overly-touristy, and controlled places we visited in Vietnam. It’s a gorgeous area, with lots of fresh fruit and warm weather, but the tours shuffle you from sight to sight without much freedom to explore on your own.
It was fun traveling around by boat. We were only in the Mekong for two days, but we traveled on 6 different boats and 2 buses. The highways are faster, but are lined with truck stops and are boring to look at. The rivers are a lot more interesting. There are barges filled with rice or fruit; people living on boats showering on the deck or hanging their laundry up to dry; and temples and stores with their main entrances facing the water.
On Sunday we visited the floating market in My Tho, where vendors park their boats full of fruit and hoist poles into the air to show off whatever they’re selling.
The sight-seeing portion of our Mekong tour involved a lot of being shuffled between heavily touristed sights – honey apiary, coconut candy and rice paper making workshops, traditional music, fruit orchards, and a congested row boat adventure.
The rest of the time we got to relax, hang in hammocks, and cycle around the islands.