Can Tho and the Mekong Delta
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
83Trip End Sep 09, 2010
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Where I stayed
We checked into the Xuan Mai, not the nicest place we have stayed but our 7th floor room gave us some great views of the town. The owner was very pushy though and tried to talk us into over paying substantially more for a boat tour of the floating markets the following day. We decided to do a bit of research on our own to negotiate a fair price and after trip down to the waterfront I headed back to the hotel to get it booked up.
The crazy thing was that in the hour that had passed since we had last walked down the street it had turned from being bone dry to being under at least half a foot of water
Next morning it was an early start, we had to be at the boat for 5.30 am having paddled down the streets morning high tide in the dark. It really is the best time of day to be on a boat watching the sun come up and the morning mists burning off on the water. First stop was the larger but less traditional floating market of Cai Rang about 6km downriver of Can Tho. Most of the boats selling goods seemed to specialise in a certain product (usually fruit or veg). They would then display what they are selling by for example by putting a watermelon on the end of a large stick if they sold watermelons. Quite a few of the fruits I had never seen or heard of.
Our next stop was at a workshop (a hut in the middle of a marsh) where a group of women were making rice noodles. Fascinating stuff, its almost like they are making giant pancakes that are cooked by a contraption that steams them, but only for a few seconds before they are dried and then shredded to the small noodles that we have seen on our plates often of late
We continued on to the smaller Phong Dien floating market where the boats were smaller and lacking motors. The goods seemed to be much the same with an amazing array of fruits in particular. Rather than returning along the Mekong we headed through a maze of river ways surrounding the countryside. It was really interesting just to see all the rural communities going about their everyday jobs, one house had karaoke blaring at 10 am with a few of the locals gathered, all having a great time.
It was a top day but after 8 hours of sitting on a plank I was glad to stretch the legs and be back on dry land.