We spent three days in the Delta on an organised tour. The first day was mainly taken up with getting to a town called Chau Doc on the Cambodian border. We spent a few hours on the water and went on a rowing boat deep into the forest where the Viet Cong used to hide. It was very atmospheric and reminiscent of many Vietnam war films.
The rest of the day was spent on the bus. The road from Long Xuyen to Chau Doc was absolutely terrible. In fact there was'nt really a paved road at all. It was incredibly bumpy. Ruby still managed to sleep, though how she managed it I don't know. She looked like Stevie Wonder sitting next to me with her sunglasses on, mouth open and her head resting on the headrest rolling from side to side. It was very funny.
For the rest of the tour we spent lots of time on the water seeing how and where people lived. By far the best way of getting around was by boat. The scenery was beautiful with lush green vegetation coming right down to the water and glimpses of lurid green rice paddies. We were a little dissapointed that most of the rice had already been harvested.
I think what we shall remember the most is the people. The women still wear the traditional long white tunics and children come running down to the bank to wave and shout hello as you go past. At one place where we stopped some children came up to us and just wanted to hold our hands while our guide was talking to us. I wonder how long it will be before they get bored of doing that.
The other nice thing about the tour was getting to talk to many different people on the tour with us. It made a nice change for us to have a really good chat with someone other than each other. Every night we ate together and had some beer and Snake Wine. It was very enjoyable. And for anyone reading this who was on that tour, don't forget your passport, your luggage, your belongings.