Mekong Delta, Vietnam
After the few nights in HCMC, it was time to head down towards the Mekong Delta. Although it’s possible to do day trips from HCMC I decided to go and spend a few nights there and really see what it was like. I could choose to pay a $95 transfer fee, or I could do it the “local way” and pay a fraction. I was a tiny bit nervous of getting there on my own but I had detailed directions and instructions from the hotel where I was going. It cost me only $17 to do it this way. Highly recommended!
Mr Kim, the owner of Mekong Floating House, e-mailed me to say that he was in Saigon and would meet me to point me in the right direction on my trip down to his hotel. This was above and beyond and I was relieved to have him do that. He came to my hotel in the morning and told me, in detail, what to do. He hand-wrote me a note to show the bus ticket lady. He gave me his phone number and told me to get the lady to call him so he’d know what time I’d be arriving. At every step of the way, the relevant person called him, put him on the phone and he’d say “ok, that’s the right person, go with him to the next place” etc. It was fantastic.
So, my journey started. It only took about 3 pleasant hours from start to finish. First, the taxi took me from the hotel to the bus station. Then, the bus took me 1.5 hours away to a random stop outside of an old military hospital. From there, a man on a scooter found me and called Mr Kim who told me it was fine to go with this guy. We went on his scooter to a small pier where the next guy called Mr Kim, who told me I could go with them and from there, I took a private little boat to the stunning location I’d be staying at for the next 3 nights. Turns out I was the only guest and I was so ready for some more R&R time.
Mekong Floating House was substantially more pricey than the first hotel I stayed at, but I’d fallen in love with it from the photos on the Internet. Only 6 rooms, all floating on the waters of a small channel of the delta. The rooms are built of bamboo and coconut palms. There are hanging pot plants all around and lovely little wooden bridges connecting each house. Inside, the bed was comfy and, as in Thailand and the Philippines where it is so hot, only had one small blanket on it, a pillow and a mosquito net hanging above.
The room was spacious and had electricity, a torch, cupboard, an ice box (refilled every day with ice, beer, cool drinks & water) and even life jackets. The bathroom area was divided from the main area by one of those dangly beaded curtain things and the basin looked out onto the water. The toilet room and shower rooms were both separate to the left and right of the basin.
Every window looked out on to the water (all 5 of them) and reminded me so much of the “Swiss Family Robinson” house – one of my favorite houses of all time. To close the window you had to untie a rope and the woven palm window would flap down. Then you held it in place with a metal hook. The door, when closed from the inside, was locked by placing a big wooden pole across the door. Everything was just lovely.
I settled in for the afternoon, had dinner served on my deck, drank a beer and had a wonderful sleep with the gentle rocking of my house on the water. Heaven!