Vietnam: Saigon to Mekong Villages

I think I mentioned that everyone in Vietnam gets around on motor scooters, and in the cities, they look and sound like a hive of bees. You see both men and women, and many carry their children as well. Some women cover their work clothes with an old skirt and wear gloves and long sleeves to protect them from the sun, and many wear masks for the pollution the motors throw out. I’m told the masks offer little protection.

We boarded our river boat on the Saigon river, and boy was I surprised. It wasn’t large, but it had just been remodeled, and it was lovely. This was our room, the view outside, and the bath. Not cramped at all!

We spent most of our time on the top deck where there was an outdoor and indoor lounge as well as the dining room. This was our first river sunset.

The next day it was off to a village where extended families work together in various Mom & Pop businesses. First we watched as young people made rice paper, then rice candy, then wrapped and packaged them.


In between some of us drank snake wine. (No kidding).

Either that day or the next we visited another village where the wealthiest member makes conical hats or Non-Las, as they call them. It’s said that if you have a motor scooter and a flat screen TV, you’re rich. She had both! (See her flat screen in the photo on the right!)

We also discovered how to make sampans. Again, the man who makes them, with his son looking on, is one of the success stories in his village.


Look at his home, with real windows and doors, compared to his neighbor’s.

  • About Libby

    Compulsively Readable ThrillersLibby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first.

    She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few.