Another travel day, as we had to get from Hoi An to the Mekong Delta. Thankfully we did not have to go all the way by bus, which would have taken us probably a day or something. Nope, we got up at 5 o clock in the morning to catch the 8 o clock flight to Ho Chi Minh.
When we arrived in Ho Chi Minh, we got to see a little bit from the city through the windows of our bus. Not to worry, cause we will end our journey with three nights in Ho Chi Minh. In case you are wondering; Ho Chi Minh is what Saigon is called these days. Vietnamese will sometimes still refer to it as Saigon, and a lot of things are still called Saigon, but officially it is Ho Chi Minh city now. Anyway, more about that later when we are actually there, let’s discuss Ben Tre!
Ben Tre is not the most touristy place imaginable, but that might change in the coming years. Why? Because the beautiful Mekong river flows right through it. We were doing our third and final cycling tour here which was amazing. At first we had a lot of headwind, especially when we had to go over a bridge over the Mekong, where beautiful old boats full of coconuts sail below. This land is very famous for its coconuts, and you really see them everywhere.
Anyway, the cycling tour was really nice. It is a looot hotter here, about 30-35 degrees celcius, but if you just put on your bikini with a dress it is fine, especially on a bike with a lot of headwind 😉 But seriously, thanks to all the palm trees with coconuts it is a very beautiful jungly place to cycle through.
There are big spiders, but other than that it is just the usual chickens and dogs. You hardly see any other animals here, although there should be some crocodiles and monkeys. It is pretty odd how few animals you will find in Vietnam, even birds; there are not a lot of colorful birds or anything, odd.
Anyway, we stopped in the middle of a jungle where women were making mats for people to sleep on. In hot places like here it used to be normal to lay on mats instead of fluffy mattresses, as those are way too hot to sleep on.
Nowadays this has changed due to the introduction of air conditioning, but people still use them for other things so the ladies were showing us how they make them (and I think they make about 5 a day or something).
They gave us lovely Yasmin tea, rice crackers and banana candy, which almost all included some coconut flavour. We cycled on, on the small bicycle paths and we had a great time. Back at the hotel we went for a lovely swim, right next to the Mekong river in a swimming pool that was also pretty hot, so I did not go for too long.
In the evening we went for dinner in our hotel, as the guide said there were not a lot of restaurants in the area. I am not sure if I should believe him, cause I think I spotted a few places during our cycling, but we were all a bit exhausted after getting up early, travelling, cycling for hours and then swimming, so it was fine not to go through too much hassle for dinner.
The dinner in the hotel was nice, this hotel is not really used to having a lot of demanding Western people I think, but if my travel agency is going to come here more often, they definitely will learn. And to be honest, they were already very professional. We had spring rolls, sweet and sour pork, spicy beef, it was fine. Not great, but good enough. Now it is time to sleep, in this Coconut Hotel in Ben Tre, which is newly called Ben Tre Riverside Resort or whatever. As long as the beds sleep as nice as Tripadvisor tells me, I think we should be fine! 😉