A ferry trip to Vinh Long (Mekong Delta) where it’s all about the market ~ Viet Nam

Our entry into Vinh Long, further South into the Mekong Delta, is memorable.
First is the easiest set of logistics, by local bus from Ben Tre and large ferry over one of the tributaries of the Mekong River. The ferry carries mostly motorbikes and a few cars ~ the ferry ride is so short, that the motorbike riders don’t bother to get off their scooters.
View from the ferry onto the river, during the crossing.
We take 3 Xe Om (motorbike taxis) when we dock (after a delicious soup with dumplings).
Just a few minutes after getting off the ferry we find delicious soup with dumplings (kreplachs), as the specialty!
The smiling kreplach lady with the best dumplings in town. (A kreplach is a Jewish pasta dumpling with a meat filling.)
… and plunge into a FANTASTIC, beehive of a market place.
Our motorbike rides take us through a thick, buzzing market place before we even get to put our bags down.  The result is an exhilirating introduction into Vinh Long.  This place is no sleepy backwater town, it is positively “happenin'”. The evening food market is on the sides of the main street with copious amounts of very healthy looking fruits and vegetables spilling into the traffic of people and scooters.
Our convoy of three motorbikes weaves through the throng of people, but comes to a standstill where piles of huge fish are flopping and flapping around, out of water, gasping for air ~ some of them lifting up by a foot or so. A crowd is gathered around, buying fresh fish for dinner.

We could write about the beautiful promenade along the river, which our hotel overlooks.

Enjoying watching the variety of sizes and shapes of boats go by on the river.

Or perhaps we could write about the war museum reputed to be very interesting.

But actually we can’t.  Because ALL we do in Vinh Long is to plunge head long into the market, again, and again and again. We unanimously agree it is one of the best markets, ever!

So foodies out there, this is for you…

The most enormous jackfruits EVER! Tastes like pineapple, banana and juicy fruit chewing gum all combined.
Shopping, from back of motorbike…
Papaya lady.
We have never seen these before. What are they? They look like mustaches in a deep aubergine color, but are in fact water chesnuts. A nut, shaped liked a brazil nut inside the shell, but softer in texture.
View down from our hotel room window, overlooking the market street. Umbrellas and tarps block out the strong midday sun. (Photo credit: Adam Pollack)
Chatting with the lemon lady. Lemons are one of our strategic ingredients I buy in markets to add to the sugar cane juice we drink so often, to cut the sweetness.
HUGE and delicious mangoes…
Fresh, raw (and rather wet tasting) peanuts by the cupful.
Man and his turnips.
Large variety of dried fish and shrimp. (Photo credit: Adam Pollack)
Fresh squid keeping fresh on ice. (Photo credit: Adam Pollack.)
Huge slabs of ice being delivered through the main street, to the market place to be crushed into smaller usable pieces, and sold to individual vendors.
A delivery to the market – all piled up behind and on the sides of the scooter!
Fresh ginseng? radish?
Using the infamous Vietnamese large “mandolin” to very thinly slice banana flower which is used to mix with leafy herbs in soups and other dishes. The banana flower are in the right hand corner of the photo. (Love the way her outfit matches her product in color and design.)
SCORE! Look what Adam found – Yes, LYCHEES. An all time favorite!
YES! Mangosteens are FINALLY in season here. We  LOVE this fruit and have missed them this time around as they were not yet in season. Adam gets to taste them for the first time. How to describe this yummy delicious fruit? Peel back the hard skin to expose the juicy sweet white segments inside.
Hats with floppy rims, colors, designs are always a popular item in Vietnam for protection from the hot sun.
Pineapple cut Vietnamese style on a diagonal to remove efficiently the remaining hard inedible skin without losing too much of the juicy fruit. Then the pineapple is presented on a stick! SO juicy and SO sweet!
Rice papers of many different types, colors and textures used in many different ways for different dishes. Fresh rice noodles at the top of the photo.
Eating lunch – fresh spring rolls, under the watchful eye of Uncle Ho.

8 thoughts on “A ferry trip to Vinh Long (Mekong Delta) where it’s all about the market ~ Viet Nam

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Peta, Ben and Adam,
    Looks like you are having a fantastic trip. Keep sending the blogs and photos. It’s great to see where you are going and what you are up to.

  2. Peta Kaplan and Ben Sandzer-Bell

    They are peeling and cutting out the “eyes” of the pineapple. In the process they use some fancy knife work which creates a cool spiral design along the length of the pineapple. Then they pop it onto a stick. Particularly sweet and juicy pineapples.

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