After leaving Saigon, we travelled by coach to the Mekong Delta area. We had some time on the river, including in tiny boats through small branches of the river. We saw locals and their community and felt like we were in Apocalypse now. It was simply brilliant. See our video highlights here
We were taken to a local farming family’s house and treated to some live local music. (At the end of our video here)
Right up our street! Some of the food and drink we had here was just delicious- elephant fish spring rolls being the absolute highlight. We learnt how they make coconut sweets and crafts before making our way to our next stop- also on the river, Can Tho.
Our resort at Can Tho was a magnificent colonial style building with a terrific pool area and pedestrian walkway by the side of the river to the town centre.
On our first morning we set an alarm for a ridiculously early start- before 5am!- in order to take a trip to the world famous floating market here. Sadly there was another typhoon on its way and as such many of the traders weren’t there as they flocked to make their properties safe. But what we saw was fascination. Tiny boats laden with fresh fruits, spices, etc. Even a boat with a band on entertaining the traders and tourists. Locals would float around in their own boat stopping from time to time at which ever boat they needed to buy from. Video highlights here
The rest of our day was spent at leisure and we took to the streets again embarking on a walking tour which took in a Khmer temple, which had a festival happening- we made to feel really welcome and even invited to join the monks for lunch!
We visited the Ong temple and enjoyed some street beers, before having some pool time back at the hotel in the evening.
That evening we enjoyed another evening in Can Tho, enjoying some live music, a walk around the night market and some beers with locals. Keith’s height was a constant fascination to the locals- he even had to have his picture taken with one curious but very friendly local!
All too soon though it was time to say goodbye to Can Tho and make our way down the river into Cambodia. This meant saying goodbye to terrific Tien- who had held our hand for the last 10 days and I’m fairly sure was one of the reasons we managed to not end up back home before we’d even started (the typhoon in the north). He had one last challenge ahead of him- getting us into Cambodia. Some of our group- us included had opted for the E visa and whilst in Can Tho we learnt that the Cambodian officials wouldn’t except this at our border crossing on the schedule- due to us crossing via river, there were specific requirements that our E visas didn’t march. So once more Tien and his team adjusted the schedule and took us to a very small crossing which would accept our E visas.
I’ll fill you in more on that in the next instalment. Saying bye to Tien was emotional- I get so attached to our local guides. He was brilliant- full of knowledge yet with a constant side of humour. We felt honoured to be shown around by him, a veteran and survivor himself of the Vietnamese war. Tien, thank you for showing us your beautiful country. We’re head over heels in love with Vietnam and We can’t wait to see you again.
Until next time