I departed Ho Chi Minh City for the nearby city of Ben Tre for a day to see the Mekong Delta. Rivers, canals, and streams flow through the region, which is home to many species of plants, fish, reptiles, and mammals. The Mekong Delta is intensively farmed and is often referred to as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam. Rice may be the delta’s staple crop, but coconut palms, fruit orchards, and sugar-cane groves are also abundant. After boarding a boat and cruising the waterways to visit some of the farms and cottage industries, I ate fresh fish for lunch and stayed overnight at a homestay.