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After having a decent glimpse into local life is Saigon and seeing the main tourist attractions I decided to head south for the Mekong Delta. I contemplated the tour packages offered through out the city but luckily Nico at my hostel gave me some advice on how to easily catch a bus and do it myself 🙂

From District 10 I caught the bus at Le Hong Phong through Phung Trang FUTA company. I headed for the city of Can Tho, tickets selling at 100,000 vnd (not even $5 USD) and buses leaving as frequent as every half hour. This was my first solo adventure through Vietnam and I found myself to be one of the only foreigners at the bus station after being transferred by the mini shuttle to the main station. However just having my ticket in hand and knowing my destination name was enough to get by asking many locals for help in getting to the correct bus!

I had my accommodation set from the start after reading raving reviews about Than Ha Guesthouse and the famous Ms. Ha.

Upon walking into Ms. Ha’s guesthouse it was clear the reviews did not lie. Her nephews gleefully greeted me and led the way down the small alleyway where Ms. Ha greeted me with her jubilant smile, hugs, and fresh fruit and tea. She marked up a local map with all the insider scoop on best eats and things to see.

By sunset she had us on the ferry and treated us to visiting her family village. Before both feet touched land I was swarmed with greetings from the children eager to try out their English. I spent the night playing street soccer with the local kids and laughing with Ms. Ha and her big family.

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Our tour the next morning began with home prepared takeaway coffee and breakfast from Ms Ha. She hooked up us with a young local tour guide, Ahn, who couldn’t have been more informative and accommodating. We saw up close the floating markets, local villages, a traditional noodle factory, a fruit farm, and a enjoyed a lovely Vietnamese lunch.
Later in the afternoon Ms Ha’s nephew, Hoan, took me on a bike ride through his village. He had mastered the art of guiding already! It was great fun to be riding through the jungle, over the bridges, and alongside the delta.
My last night I spent out to dinner with Ms Ha eating traditional street food. Here I found one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes!
Before my bus departed the following morning Ms. Ha insisted we must go have a coffee with the locals before I took off. I sat on a small stool with the local women who giggled at my attempts at Vietnamese and were so curious of my age, how I would travel solo, and where my boyfriend must be!
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Ms. Ha is the type of women you wish you could spend more time with. When you are with her you feel at home. As a solo traveler she made me feel connected to the culture and the people in away that is rare. Though this is her business and means to make a living there is something so genuine and authentic about her relationship with her guests. If I ever land back in Vietnam Ms. Ha would be one of my first stops!
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