Journey to the West - Honeymoon on Vietnamese river

There is a uniquetourism package exclusively reserved for couples on their honeymoon on the rivers in the West of Vietnam. The tour takes place on a small & romantic private yacht, giving European visitors an experience both romantic and cultural.

In this season, the water of the Mekong flows abundantly downstream. In the blowing wind, someone in a small boat near the bank is singing an ancient song.  The voice is like a long ribbon blowing along the river. All this makes a strange and charming scene for Kent & Julie, a couple who have just arrived here on their honeymoon. They are attracted by the diversity of trees and fruit set against expanses of green paddy fields. To keep their happy moments, they take photos to capture these beautiful images as they travel on the sampan boat rowing up and down the Tien and Hau rivers.

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Kent says that since his childhood he has been fascinated by images of the famous rivers of the world, and he has dreamed of having a chance to discover rivers in faraway lands. To prepare for their journey to the Mekong Delta, Kent and Julie have worked very hard for 2 years to have enough time off to more fully explore Indochina.

After exciting days riding elephants in Luang Prabang (Laos) and seeing the world wonder of Angkor(Cambodia), the couple now comes to Vietnam. They are charmed by the natural diversity and Vietnamese culture as they travel through “the breadbasket of Vietnam”. They have decided to travel along the rivers, as  recommended by one of their friend who works in tourism.

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In the clear morning, the boat “Green River” glides smoothly towards the sea. Julie is attracted by the purple flowers of water hyacinths floating on the river. An idea pops up in Kent’s mind;, he picks the flowers and gives them to Julie. In that moment, Julie becomes “a girl of the countryside”, with a smile on her face as she holds the flowers in her hand, a surprise from her husband.

On board, the couple enjoys the romantic scenery and attentively listens to the tour guide telling the story of Can Tho with a famous song about Hau river. After enjoying some cool and sweet coconut juice, Kent and Julie learn the recipe for cooking Vietnamese sour soup for their lunch.

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It is sunny but Julie seems not to care that her skin is getting more tanned. She asks others about their experiences when travelling on the river. She also feels the emotion of the love story of Ca Ho as it is told to her. This story has been passed down through the generations by the people in the fishing village in the area of Hau river.

Crossing Hau river, on the boat named Song Xanh (Green River) the driver is turnsthe wheel to redirect the boat to the the town of Tra On (Vinh Long). When tourists travel on the rivers, this route is the most convenient one to Vinh Long, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Long Anh, Ho Chi Minh City and the next tour to Long Xuyen, Cchau Doc, Dong Thap etc….

After nearly 3 hours, the boat anchors in Tam Binh, Vinh Long. Leaving the boat to go on land, Kent and Julie ride bicycles to explore the countryside of the famous isles. They travel on concrete and stone roads which go through fruit gardens near the canals. They also go through paddy fields, melon fields and bitter melon fields which are so full of fruit that Julie has to stop to take photos. In the late afternoon, the scene of a vast field with storks flying captivates the young couple.

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Kent and Julie asks us to take some photos of them against the backdrop of the nearby cocoa trees. In the garden, the smell of baked bananas amazes Julie. The couple enjoys a dish of baked bananas with coconut juice, offered by an elderly woman.

Pointing the nose of the Sampan back, we return to Song Xanh boat.

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This is where big boats often anchor and wait for rising water to continue their journey. Many small boats from various areas rush here to supply the chefs on big ships with fruit and other local farm products to cook dishes of the countryside and serve the tourists visiting here. In the bustling market, Julie happens to see a saleswoman breastfeeding her baby.

Continuinge the journey, the boat slowly crosses Nicolai canal to Mang Thit river, from which the boat goes through Lach market and crosses Co Chien river to Tien river.  The smell of cooked molasses gradually fills our noses as Song Xanh cruises past along molasses cooking huts on the banks of the river.

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Kent and Julie are excited to see many boats carrying agricultural products, chicken and ducks or even building construction materials. They are also captivated seeing the daily activities of people here. They are catching fishes with their nets or rods. Taking it all in, the couple feels they are very young.

In the late afternoon, theyenjoy a truly Southern meal on the boat. In the cabin, Kent and Julie hold hands and take in the passing trees on the two river sides. A paved road passes through the gardens along the river. Among the green area, there are golden paddy fields. All these things make the countryside in Mekong Delta more peaceful and impressive.

It is 8:30pm when the boat reaches Cho Lach. Now, it is so quiet that the people on the boats can hear others’ voices on land. In the cabin, the couple is hand in hand enjoying their coffee, watching the stars and the moon light. Fireflies appear in the star filled sky. Julie is startled and raises her hands to catch them..

The nighton thewaterpassesslowly, andeveryonegradually falls to sleep. The boat floats like a leaf anchored by tiny ropes.

The boat goes upstream to Sa Dec. Sometimes, Julie sees children with dark skin gather on the banks to play with each other. It is scenes like this and the environment of Mekong River Delta that have helped elevate the journey the couple Kent and Julie into something truly special.

Text: Duong Thuy – Vntravellive