The Mekong delta, the lushest of lush fields, the rice bowl of Vietnam. Home to floating markets and tiny canals. A must-go!

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Watermelon sales at Cai Rang floating market

“Nooooooo…., no WAY!!!” Max cried when I told him we would get up at 5:30 am to go on a boat trip on the exciting river. I get it. Max is happiest with a surfboard under his feet or a table-tennis racket in his hand. But he had to soldier on.

The market was busy when we arrived. But the few tour boats that were there, easily spotted by the orange lifevests the tourists have to wear, were plainly ignored by everyone except maybe the tea sellers.

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Boats with hot and cold drinks, as well as breakfast Phô keep the traders going

The beauty of Vietnam, in my opinion, lies in the colours, smells and sounds of people going about their daily life. Taking a slow boat along the small canals around the Mekong is a great way of watching people without being hassled to buy anything. Perfect after the hustle and bustle of Hanoi Old Quarter.

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Steering the boat at Cai Rang market
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Watching the punters haggle for goods

In Asia you always see the most curious of transports, from monks on mopeds with their business portfolios under their arms, to an unfathomable amount of chicken cages strapped on to a bike, and lots of other curiosities. The Mekong Delta is no exception.

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Circus car? A delivery of monks to the next Pagoda? Or just the local bus?
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Not yet too old to do an honest day’s work

So, what was Max’ verdict in the end? “It wasn’t too bad”, he grudgingly admitted. Especially since we were back early to the hotel pool. Well, each to his own. And even human children need a little “Leckerli” after having been good.