In Ho Chi Minh City we sang karaoke with our Vietnamese roommates. As we were getting ready to leave I picked this for our last song. I thought it would be a hit with the St. A’s kids; little did I know that the Vietnamese students were also big fans!

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More from the market in Vinh Long

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Bowls upon bowls of rice.

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Our guide was Thu, a Vinh Long native. She was very funny and quite forthright. We came across a stall selling snakes but no one was standing nearby. She went right up, opened the case, and pulled out a snake to show us.

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The squid here is delicious–one of my favorite things to eat in Vietnam.

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Market in Vinh Long

We walked through a market in Vinh Long. All of the local wares were on display.

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Rambutan. What an odd looking fruit. They are delicious–very sweet and juicy.

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Walking past the stalls.

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More fruit. Rambutan on the bottom row. In the middle row there are tamarind closest to the camera, then some purple fruit (not sure what), then water apple, maybe kumquats, something else, and longan in the back. The next row has dragon fruit, mongkut, something else (maybe soursop?), mangoes, and then durian.

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Closeup of dragon fruit.

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Flowers at the market.

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Motorbike tour in the Delta

We had a chance to bike through the Delta but we opted for motorbikes instead. I think it was a good choice–even on motorbikes it was a hot and tiring trip! (You might be wondering how sitting on the back of a motorbike could be “tiring.” Much of the tour was on very bumpy dirt paths and even as a passenger you have to remain pretty focused on the road.)

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Yes, we all wore helmets on the tour!

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A little treat for sale at a shop along the way. Marketing tip: most vegans might not really want to eat something called “pork meat slice,” even if it is vegan. (Their loss!)

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We stopped by a local home where they make rice crackers flavored with sesame seeds and coconut milk. They were making a bunch in preparation for the Tet holiday. They make both a crisp kind but also one that is sort of like a crepe. They let us try both–delicious!

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We stopped for lunch during the tour. We had fried fish, mango-papaya salad (one of my favorites!), green beans, and stuffed tomatoes. We had a bunch of other stuff too–when we all eat together the amount of food they serve is overwhelming. We’ve never gotten close to finishing it.

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We weren’t the only ones cruising through the Delta. During out tour many kids were biking home from school in their uniforms.

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Cooking in the Delta

We had a chance to help out with dinner during our trip to the Delta.

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Here Ahmed is grating taro for a spring roll filling while Zach chops vegetables.

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Rolling the spring rolls. We did a pretty good job for beginners!

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Spring rolls before . . .

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. . . and after!

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We’re famous!

The Union Leader ran a little piece on our trip to Vietnam. If you’ve been reading the blog already you won’t really find anything new, but you might want to check it out.

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Mekong Delta

At the end of our time in the south we went for a two-night stay in the Mekong Delta.

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We took a bus to Vinh Long where we boarded a boat for a tour of the river.

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The Delta is an amazingly fertile area, known for its food production: rice, seafood, fruit, coconuts, etc. Here Kelly peels and eats a rambutan, something kind of like a lychee.

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We saw some of the many uses for rice. On the top are rice husks, which can be used to fuel fires. The second picture shows rice paper drying in the sun.

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We also visited a “floating market” where people buy and sell goods from their boats. In the top picture, you can see that the second boat is full of watermelons. In the bottom picture the man has baskets full of water apples.

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