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A guide to the Mekong Delta slow boat


The Mekong Delta slow boat ticket office was at the top of the pier, and it was a very simple transaction – all I needed was my passport and cash fees. I was assigned a seat number, although in practice this is arbitrary. There was a bit of a wait, but I took the opportunity to load myself up with snacks at the nearby kiosk – something I highly recommend, as there are no shops exactly on the river. I also introduced myself to a few of my fellow passengers, some of whom were on organized group tours and some traveling alone. The boat left about eleven, but it is better to board a little earlier. You want to be near the front or center, because the engines in the back are deafening enough to turn that perfect ride into something a little more stressful. Some boats have rather uncomfortable pew wood seats, while others have chairs repurposed from coaches, so a travel pillow can be very useful. Mine was the first, and it meant a lot of shifting from cheek to cheek, but for the price, it was more than comfortable enough. Although the actual ride down the river is fairly smooth, the boat ramps up quite a bit as passengers board and load cargo, so if you’re a bit worried about sailing, you might want to prepare yourself. Even though it’s only been a few short hours since I woke up, I felt like I’d had several days of traveling. But now I knew I could sit back, relax, and enjoy the views of the river. The nature of the boat means shade and constant breeze to battle the vibrant Southeast Asian sun, so it was a fun getgo trip. While my surroundings were pleasant, opinions were fairly consistent throughout the first day, so I scrolled through a few pages of my book. However, I also had a set of cards, probably the most useful item any traveler could get if they wanted to mingle. The cards quickly made me popular among other passengers looking for something to do, and soon there were a few different groups of all of us getting to know each other.

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