October 1, 2011 Saturday Mekong Delta

October 1, 2011 Saturday Mekong Delta

 

October 1, 2011 Saturday Mekong Delta

Why is it that breakfast is starting so much earlier than on Day 1?  Because the fruit and food is so delicious and inviting, we are eating more of it, and need more time.

This morning has been a transit day from Saigon to the Mekong Delta.  We have travelled the only freeway in the country, about 120km from Saigon to Chai Be.  No motorbikes are allowed on the freeway, but it takes away the excitement so much so, that many of our group sleep, some even stretching out on the back seat.  We stop for a break at what is called a “Water Closet” – spelt in full – not a toilet or WC.

The Mekong Delta is very flat and expansive with lots of waterways.  We take a trip on a ‘village’ boat along the shores of one of the waterways to view houses and boats used for accommodation or as semi-trailer”.  The boats are full of produce usually with a sample hanging from a stick up the front of the boat.  So if the boat carries watermelons, there is a watermelon attached to a mast; if it is carrying rambutans, a rambutan is attached to the mast.

At one point, we disembark and walk along the banks on a concrete path.  Each of the houses along the water bank, has a store or an industry attached.  We see rice paper being made.  We see puffed rice being cooked.  We see puffed wheat being made into sweets with sugar and ginger being used to bind the wheat together.  Of course, there are the usual sellers of books, clothing, shoes and artifacts.

For lunch, we eat in a ‘rich persons’ house.  Some of us aren’t feeling the best and refrain from eating the fish cooked in its scales, supported upright for the ‘demolition’.  The waitress ‘shaves’ off some fish and wraps it with cucumber, pineapple, starfruit and mint, in a rice pancake.

After a tour through the owner’s garden, we board a smaller boat with just 3 or 4 of us on each boat with a lady push rowing us along the narrow canals.  They do this for 45 minutes without a rest-break.  The canals are lined with levy banks with bamboo sticks supporting the mud and silt washed towards the canal from the rains over time.  The larger trees are cork trees used to make corks for wine bottles.

After another hour in our ‘home’ boat, we drive further 35 minutes to our ‘comfortable’ accommodation.  It is another Victoria Hotel from the same Hotel Group we stayed in at Siem Reap http://www.victoriahotels-asia.com/eng/hotels-in-vietnam/can-tho-resort

The Best Moments of the Trip so far.

Michael – “The traffic – unbelievable”

Judy – “Returning to the BIG boat which meant we were close to getting home to rest.  The sea breeze was great!”

Ian – “the lacquer factory – a classy place to visit.”

Val – “The loaded motorbikes; balloons, window frames, water tanks, people,”

Lyn – “The Bonsai Junk on the Saigon River.”

Today’s Senior’s Moment.  It took all day but it is a beauty.  It is Val’s Birthday tomorrow and Michael arranged that her dessert be brought out with candles on it and we all sing happy birthday.  When he was arranging the surprise with the waitress, she asked him his name.  He told her and out came the dessert with “Happy Birthday Michael” written in chocolate around the plate.  We worked out that the waitress asked Michael for Val’s name and he gave her his own name.  Hearing is not always clear for those of us over 55.

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Author: @colinspain

The Official Blogger for Grey Nomads Travel and Cruise Group Tours

One thought on “October 1, 2011 Saturday Mekong Delta”

  1. Your photos are amazing, i am loving looking through them all, a clear understanding of what the folks and you guys are doing, experiencing and seeing!
    Actually spoke to the folks tonight and sounds like you all are having a ball and are getting royal service, seeing so much!! Which is so good. Cant wait for the storys when they get back!
    Could you please do me a favour if you get a chance and take a photo of Chris and Lynn (Mum and Dad) on the back of the motorbike tour, just would love to see that!! Hee Hee.
    Enjoy the rest of your holiday in such an amazing place.
    Thanks heaps Georga Welsh. 🙂

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