Posts Tagged ‘Can Tho’

  • The Mekong Delta towns of My Tho and Ben Tre

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    We reached My Tho by local bus after a 4 hours ride on a bumpy road. The stop was a few kilometres away from the city centre, in the middle of nowhere. Once again we were lucky and a minibus took us four –we were still travelling with Empar and Juan- for free from the side of the road to the river shore, where the most of the action happens in town. We didn’t like it much and expected to find a much authentic place in Ben Tre town, just a 15 minutes ferry and an overland ride of 12 kilometres on the other side of the river.

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    We found a good place to eat first –we can not believe that we are not getting fat with such amounts of food we are having in Vietnam- took the ferry and crossed to the Ben Tre province, a more remote area that can only be reached by boat. Thanks to our big smiles and to some nice words to local people we got another free ride from the pier into Ben Tre town -12 km under a very heavy rain that was about to flood the sides of the road. We got wet that afternoon looking for a place to stay but a “Com chai” restaurant helped us to recover our strenght and to prepare for a boat ride through small river canals on the next morning.

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    This time our boat was too big and the canals too small, so we had to push the prow away from the shore vegetation again and again. This made us be slower and made the whole journey shorter but the beautiness of the surroundings (water coconut trees covering all along the edge of the small water canals) and the amount of inhabitants we met on the way made it an interesting excursion to see the life in the canals.

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  • Can Tho and the floating markets

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    What do 4 tourists do in a local bus travelling through the Mekong Delta? Well, among others, have fun!! It was a long walk from our hotel to the local bus station in Chau Doc but it was really worth the effort. Once we arrived there we found out –read corroborate- that hotels and travel agencies sell out tickets of the same buses at higher prices than in the station and then impute it to the rise of the prices of petrol, not to their comission. So we bought our tickets, got in the bus and were surprised of seeing some local people on very wide costumes filled up by what it seemed to be their flesh –something weird if you think that the average Vietnamese is quite skinny. After some minutes the bus had moved and had crossed the first police checkpoint on the road, we could finally know about this mystery. What they all had under their clothes –and in every corner and seat of the bus- was packets and packets of cigarrettes that they were smuggling into the province of Can Tho, our next destination. Between stop and stop they kept on screwing out pieces of the bus to take the hidden cigarrettes and put them on big boxes, then stoping in the middle of nowhere to pass them on to a motorbike rider, who should take them somewhere different, and so on. This trip was pretty fun and once we arrived in Can Tho we had enough to laugh about.

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    We found a cheap ‘homestay’ kind hotel and arranged with them a boat trip to the floating markets for the next day. For a few dollars per head we spent 8 hours navigating rivers and small canals, visiting noodle factories, fruit orchards and floating markets in the Mekong delta. It was a nice day out with our lovely guide “Hart” who took care of everything and fed us constantly with local delicacies. A journey that we will not ever forget, in which we could develop our skills in Vietnamese language –so, we learnt to say hello, bye, thanks, papaya and many other useful things…

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    Again, another highlight of our stay there was the food and to find another “Com chai” restaurant with many more tasty dishes which we could not believe it was not meat or fish. Ummmmm!!

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