Conquering the Mekong
Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
79Trip End Sep 06, 2010
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One ‘snake survival’ later we jumped onto beautiful traditional boats and were paddled along the Mekong with a jungle canopy overhead. We donned Vietnamese hats in true tourist fashion which, despite being ideal accessories out here, won’t be making it onto the shelves of M&S anytime soon. Being the budget conscious types that we are, we only had a small plate of spring rolls to share for lunch which meant that a lovely elderly Chinese couple took pity on us and insisted we had some of their Mekong specialty elephant-eared fish wrapped up in mint so we gratefully accepted and were surprised at how such an ugly looking fish could taste so delicious.
In the afternoon we had a short bike ride but more interestingly visited a coconut candy factory with lots of free samples, I only wish I hadn’t been greedy and gobbled down a peanut flavored one that made my lips swell up for the rest of the day. A few more boats and buses later we spent the night in Can Tho where we found some beer for 25p to take the edge off the snake wine.
The second day involved a boat trip to the floating market which is like Costco on water. Unfortunately not much trading was going on while we were there so we left a little disappointed. We finished up visiting both a rice paper ‘factory’ (read: thatched hut) and a rice bagging factory. The rice factory was made great thanks to the one worker still present who had crashed out for a bit of shut-eye on some bags of rice. He didn’t stir after I took a photo of him so our whole group then acted like paparazzi snapping shots, if he had woken up I’m sure he’d have been more than a bit startled by our presence
Back in Saigon we united a group of England supports from our hotel (some real and some fake) and found a suitable location to watch England crash out of the world cup. The tragedy was that the bar was a 50:50 split between German and England fans so we had to leave the celebrations to be able to mourn in peace. Watching any of the games in South East Asia has been so much fun as, although they have no teams competing, they place bets on every game so there’s always an edge-of –your-seat atmosphere to enjoy. Interestingly enough even though Lampards goal was not counted by Fifa the betting organizations here paid out for it, at least it counted for some people.
We wanted to book our onwards bus tickets through a company called Sigh Café who had a good reputation but, thanks to a lack of licensing laws, anyone and his pig can call their company the same thing and use the same logo so it’s near impossible to track down the original (we’re told that in Hanoi there are 400 Sigh Cafes and only one original) That goes for hotels and tour companies too so it’s a game of lucky dip most of the time but we did well and the bus we took to our next stop, Mui Ne, was the first one I felt comfortable enough to sleep on since we got here - bliss.
Lots of Love,
Amy and Snake-wine Steve