A Vietnamese Rolf Harris - bonkers

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our unexpected early morning call came at 6am courtesy of our crazy tour guide.  By 6.30am we were down in the lobby tucking in to banana pancakes and omelettes (with a baguette to slap the omelette on?) We discussed how embarrased and disappointed we were by our national side then promptly at 7am we set off for the harbour at Chau Doc to visit some more delights from the Mekong Delta. (Andrew Edit - Chau Doc is practically in Cambodia so today we are only two hours by boat from Phnom Pnem a place we will hopefully be at in about 3.5 weeks time).


This time we all boarded different rowing boats in pairs complete with our own driver.  After about 30 minutes we arrived at a fish farm, well the smell told us that we were approaching half way there.  Here they bred local river fish with catfish.  We were allowed to feed them with fish pellets that they manufacture on the premises, and through two large holes in the floor, we witnessed a feeding frenzy as everyone within 3 metres got splashed (not that pleasant with the smell of the water I can tell you).


From here it was back in the boats, at which point Andrew stood on the seat as he was getting back on board and snapped it, the shame.  We were then taken to a village of the Cham people, an ethnic minority of Muslims.  The village was set high on stilts and we were shown how they keep a year on year record of water height on the stilts in the rainy season, rather worryingly in 2006 the water level was that high it almost flooded the houses.  


The village children hounded us relentlessly to buy rice cakes from them with the same sales patter that they have all obviously learned verbatim.  We got to see how they weave their own scarves and make various other handicrafts to sell to tourists then we went to the local mosque (shattering the illusion as it was at the back of the village across the ROAD).


At the end of the village tour the group split as the majority were going on to Cambodia down the Mekong.  We headed back to the coach with the other two only remaining members of the group and went to visit a Buddhist temple, Lady Chua Xu Temple and Tay An Pagoda.  Both places were absolutely packed with people as it was a Sunday with numerous different types of offerings such as fruit, flowers and whole roasted pigs (which seemed to be a favourite).  After a while all the smoke from the incense sticks started to sting my eyes so I had to walk around the pagoda in almost darkness - hope I didnt miss anything.


Another hour and a half on the coach, which we could stretch out on and have a sleep, and we arrived at our last sight of the day, a crocodile farm.  We were shown all the crocs by a very eager guide who was learning English, I asked him did he often wrestle them, but he obviously hadnt learned the word wrestle yet.  The crocodiles were bred for belts, wallets and handbags that were extortionately expensive we were told - I reminded Andrew that he had bought one off ebay in one of his pimp daddy moments for about 2 pounds 50 (obviously fake). Andrew Edit - Not actually true, it was an ethically produced snake skin (which i guess means it wasn't bread in a small metal cage then killed to make such products).


We had lunch in the restaurant at the crocodile farm but  there was no crocodile on the menu, in fact we were told that it was a vegetarian restaurant.  We were extremely shocked then to open the menu and find chicken, beef, pork and fish listed.  We all sat at the same table, the four of us and enjoyed our noodle soup with beef and chicken.  I later asked the excitable guide what they considered meat to be then and Andrew had to decipher that the 'meat' was in fact tofu colored to look like beef - well I was fooled it was mad.


Suddenly after we had finished our lunch the Vietnamese man who was in the group and had bought every souvenier he could find on the trip, pulled out a sketch pad and some ink and asked if he could draw us.  So all three of us got a signed portrait of ourselves which was lovely (although I look Asian), we are going to get them laminated as soon as we find somewhere that does it.


After another hour and half on the coach we finally got to the hotel in Can Tho and had a bit of a rest as we were sunburnt and weiry after what felt to be a full on day.  We went out for some dinner at about 6pm for some fast food as we didnt want to risk anything else bearing in mind our full sightseeing day tomorrow.  We got back to the hotel feeling really tired so left Peter in the bar and fell asleep at about 9pm. 


Andrew edit - The mekong area is great and the further and further you seem to get away from Saigon the more basic and rustic life seems to get. I have really enjoyed watching the changing scenery and seeing the daily life of the people changing.




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Comments

Moonin and Papah on

To Erica and Andrew, hope you are enjoying Vietnam. To Andrew: inbetween the celebrations, have you realised, that i will be the 'mother-in-law' (not the monster-in-law). Love to you both. Mum and Dad.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Badu and Adam.....(oops sorry Andy) on

Get you two. Tried asking Graeme what to write but couldn't understand half the language Dr. Kennett (PhD) was using?!?!?! Hope you are both celebrating suitably (In The Club Style) "Knock Three Times On The Ceiling If You Want Me.....Twice On The Fire If The Feeling If Neeeeeeeeee!!!!". Love and Hugs. G & G Xx

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