Meeting with our private chauffeur and a guide, in the district one of Ho Chi Minh City and getting ready for two hours drive to Cai Be, where the owner of « Mekong ecolodge » was waiting for us. Our journey continued by steam boat to the Mekong Ecolodge located in Tan Phong Island, Cai Lay District in Tien Giang Province.
Mekong ecolodge is a concept of ecological and sustainable lodges willing to raise awareness to their guests on the benefits of ecological consumption by making them enjoy the local products, with an amazing choice of vegetables and fresh tropical fruits coming directly from its large and wild garden.
The rooms are designed like the traditional local houses in the village, using row materials mainly made with wood, bamboo, or coconut leaves to provide an authentic experience immersed in nature. With the hot and tropical climate in Vietnam that can really get uncomfortable sometime, the guest at Mekong Ecolodge can enjoy an outdoor and refreshing shower in their own private room which also includes a private garden.
If Mekong Ecolodge purpose is to increase awareness about ecology, it also provides exclusive experiences such as bike tours within the village, which aim is to bring people from different cultures closer together: The locals and the tourists from all over the world.
Many activities can be done with the locals such as learning how to cook traditional dishes from their region and sharing a meal with them, but also visiting them directly into their houses to buy local handcrafted products and to learn and watch their making process.
Every activity was thought to educate the guest, make him participate and interact as much as possible.
I was amazed by how each house we visited had people with outstanding handcrafting skills, each specialized in different fields, for example, some families were specialized in straw and could provide products such as hats or bags with this material. Other were making leather goods.
I think the diversification of skills is the key to the sustainability of this village. This is how they can manage to trade, be complementary and benefit financially from the tourists thank to Mekong Ecolodge.
Not far from the ecolodge, at Tay Ninh is the biggest Caodaïst temple in Vietnam. Cao Dai is the third largest religion in Vietnam mixing ideologies from Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, and Taoism. Its religious center is extremely rich with bright colours and numerous symbols from each religion they got inspiration from.
After spending an afternoon at Mekong Ecolodge and cycling through the narrow streets of the village, I could really feel the strong values bonding this small community, it is about sharing and being able to teach and educate people in a modest way.
So, if you are looking for tranquility and at the same time authentic human interaction with locals, Mekong Ecolodge is the perfect getaway!
For more pictures, go follow my adventures on my Instagram page!