On my final day, I went on a one day tour of the Mekong Delta with Thao and a busload of tourists. We left the city at 7AM and drove for about 2 and a half hours west to a small town, in the midst of the Mekong Delta, called Cái Bè. Small means just about 300.000 inhabitants - which is funny coming from Denmark. Relativity in full effect.
From Cái Bè a boat took us into the delta, to see a traditional floating market. Because the Mekong Delta is mostly rivers fruits, vegetables and other locally produced goods are still transported up and down the rivers in the traditional Vietnamese river boats and they meet in the floating markets to trade the goods. In other words, a floating market is simply a location where boats meet to trade by docking along side each other in the middle of the river.
No reason to hide this was a tourist intended day-trip, and we were paraded through the all the classic point of sales locations, offered seriously overpriced locally produced goods, lightly spiced up with "this is how you make rice paper" and "Who wants to hold a giant Python" events, and finally a riverside lunch, which sadly marked the worst meal of my week. I pity the tourists among us who seemed impressed.
Tourist crap aside, I felt privileged to get a ride out of the city, to observe the countryside landscape and the famous Mekong Delta first hand. I had a short glimpse of the local environment and even a local market in Vinh Long during the final "be back here in 45 minutes" off-leech session.