Today we said goodbye to Saigon and what a fabulous city it is. We particularly enjoyed the party atmosphere around the Tet celebrations, the wide open boulevards thanks to the Froggies, they do get some things right and of course the wonderful food. Our accommodation was superb and you have to hand it to the Vietnamese they are a really friendly bunch. Apparently the population in 1924 was 28million this has now grown to over90million so the population is young , keen to learn and prosper. 28 to 90 million guess they are a friendly lot!An early start with a new driver and local guide, Duc, who explained about the journey to our destination for the. day Can Tho. Our first visit was to a temple, one with a difference, it involved about five religions under one roof, pretty practical really. Next stop was to,a nearby market flogging all sorts of food, some recognisable, others of doubtful origin. The Vietmanese enjoy fresh food this includes fish gasping for breath before being trimmed of their fins and gills before being handed over for lunch to someone. We then motored on to the mighty Saigon river and boarded a long boat and made
our way up to a shed were Duc explained how rice is used in this part of the world. This included, rice wine, paper, sweets, ricepops, and rice crispies. The working methods were very archaic but the end products were delicious. Crossing the Saigon river to the other bank we headed up a tributary and transferred to,a smaller rowing boar rowed by one of the villagers. Very tranquil. We disembarked after about 20minutes and followed a path to a farming area where the locals were growing all kinds go fruit and veg and also enjoying watching two cockerels rip each other apart. What people will gamble on. We were stopped by one family who saw my arm and sympathised as the lady of the house had fallen and had a broken wrist. they invited us to ave a snack of mango dipped in a mixture of salt chilli and sugar- nice! Lunch was provided by the head honcho farmer, very traditional and I think most of the contents on the plate had stopped breathing. It was a delicious lunch of pancake followed by huge prawns then rice paper rolls which we stuffed with cucumber mint green stuff and elephant ear
fish then rice with a broth you pored over it then add chicken and then a plate of fresh fruit, I have developed a new word we had dunch which is lunch and dinner, just too much food.We then took a boat further along the Mekong river where folks live and work the type of houses varying from houseboats to corrugated iron shacks to very smart modern ones. The people who live on the Mekong use it for everything, washing, themselves and clothes, I cleaning pots and pans, and as a toilet.We then went by car to the hotel which was by the river and where all the action is. It's a real Vietnamese hotel very ornate and grand in the reception area rant. . great views from the bedroom and roof but in the corridors looked like a hospital.We went for a walk along the riverfront and called in to a local market buying some goodies as presents. Not feeling very hungry we decided on a lightweight supper and ordered omelette and pancakes at a Vietnamese/French restaurant. nice and quiet to start with then a bunch of tourist from Israel turned up and occupied virtually every table. They then
decided to sing some favourite Israeli pop music, unfortunately the other punters in the restaurant including us were unable to join in, bit of a language barrier. We made our way back to the hotel along the riverfront, full of young people cruising on their motorbikes and families out strolling in the warm evening. The tough life continues.
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