Blogs from Mekong River Delta, Vietnam, Asia

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Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Can Tho May 18th 2019

Today we saw the floating river markets- what an absolute treat! We were very lucky as we had arrived later than the locals typically "go to market" and yet, we had some boats clip on to ours and offer up their goods. We were also lucky to have Vietnamese women on board who were all about the shopping - I loved it! I was right in the middle, somehow, and caught it all. I got to try passion fruit, jack fruit and that beautiful fruit - durian. It was fantastic. We then went over to see how rice noodles are made and did a little shopping. The food was not that good in Can Tho and if I understood the guide correctly it is because their history of colonization has confused the culinary experience (again, not ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Ben Tre May 17th 2019

Today we left the city and checked out to Ben Tre so we could enjoy the Minh Cong Delta. It's part of Vietnam produces a lot of the agriculture rice and fish that the country eats. Water is everywhere, the humidity makes me sticky, and I'm a tad bit burnt - not a bad day at all. We visited a nice farm where we were treated to some local music, fruits and honey - we even got to hold the beehive! We then moved on to a quick float down the river before seeing how coconut candy is made. Creamy, not too sweet, delicious! We moved onto lunch after another longer trip down the river on a bigger boat. We were served what looked like a carp type of fish, a pancake filled with noodles and ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta November 28th 2018

Hoi An The following morning we were picked up and drove towards Hoi An - our final stop in Vietnam. We had booked a car from Hue to Hoi An, and dropped into Elephant Spring, then Lap An lagoon, Lang Co Bay. We drove through the Hai Van pass, and stopped at a military fort, a key viewpoint in the Vietnam War, on a mountain-top with views either side. Then we visited Marble Mountain, a cluster of 5 hills just south of Da Nang made of Limestone and Marble temples and pagodas on top and within the mountain. We went up by escalator on the mountain side and visited the temples, pagodas and caves. Climbing up into the biggest circular cave meant clambering through a few narrow and steep passages till eventually we came out into ... read more
Elephant spring.
Hai Van Gate
on guard at Hoi Van Gate.

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta October 16th 2018

Our first port in Vietnam was in a tropical resort town called Nha Trang. The town is in the southern part of the country and heavily visited by Russian and Chinese tourists. It’s easy to see why they choose it for it’s beautiful beaches and luxury hotels. Maybe we need to reconsider the location of our annual Caribbean winter vacation. Our first stop was at the Long Son Pagoda. Worshiping was underway at the temple so we made a quiet pass by the sanctuary and then took the 152 steps up to see to the giant white Buddha seated in a lotus blossom. Not only is this a really cool Budda we got a really cool view of the city. The day also included a stop at PoNagar Cham Towers; a UNESCO World Heritage Site built ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Dong Thap July 30th 2018

The next four days of work were pretty similar. The groups worked hard, ate mediocre food, and had quiet nights. Monday: On the first build day, both teams worked on their concrete slabs. Site two dry-mixed sand and cement and spread the combination on the foundation then wet it with a hose. This method was not conventional and will likely lead to a sub-standard floor. Our site spent the entire day mixing and pouring concrete. Each batch of concrete contained 8 five-gallon buckets of stone, 5 buckets of sand, 1 sack of cement, and water. We dry-mixed the sand and cement before adding the stone. Next, we added water and hand-mixed on the ground with shovels. This process was physically demanding. Brad struggled to mix with the short-handled shovels and resorted to filling and moving buckets ... read more
Habitat Family
Kristy at Site 1
Brad Mixing Concrete

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Dong Thap July 29th 2018

We departed the Alagon fairly early Sunday morning and headed Southwest to Cao Lahn. The whole team loaded into one bus and hit the road on a four-hour journey. During the trip Kristy chatted with our build crew while Brad wrote several blog posts. We arrived at our hotel, the url=https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g737086-d8686892-Reviews-Huong_Sen_Hotel-Cao_Lanh_Dong_Thap_Province_Mekong_Delta.htmlHuong Sen Hotel, in the early afternoon. We had lunch at the hotel and sat through a safety and mission presentation. During the presentation, we learned about the two families we were helping and that our build was a test-build for a larger effort scheduled for November. After the presentation, we loaded onto smaller vans and headed to the village. Before heading to the build sites, the group stopped by the local gove... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Phú Quốc May 4th 2018

We’ve landed on a little bit of Vietnamese heaven. Phu Quoc is an isolated island, home to the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. We bagged a gorgeous little room with Cosy Bungalows for a bargain. A boat trip was first of our priorities on the island. The tour took us to Dam Ngang island and finished at May Rut island, where we snorkelled and sipped on coconut cocktails by the crystal clear sea. It was absolute paradise. Sadly the coral has been abandoned by sea life. Some tourists were actually standing on the coral which made it clear that people are killing the reef. It was disheartening beyond belief to see marine life being destroyed by tourists. We headed down to the night market and came to ‘Number 1 bar’, where all the backpackers gather. With ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Vinh Long March 16th 2018

A lot has happened since my last post five days ago. Unfortunately, in those five days I have had my passport confiscated, been interrogated (and I do mean interrogated!) by the Immigration Office, threatened with deportation by same, told to leave the place where I was living, avoided a fine somehow and left a little nervous about my time here. Long story short etc - I'm now in Ho Chi Minh City, arrived this afternoon, and am heading back to NZ on Monday, two weeks early. Bummer. From the 12 March my time in Vinh Long has been in slow motion as I've waited for my status to be resolved. The staff at the language school have been terrific. So supportive and concerned about me that it's amost been too much. They have interceded with the ... read more
Vinh Long
Ms Thanh organises my Pho
Ms Cuc

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Vinh Long March 11th 2018

I've been walking the town a bit to see what is out there. More of the same so far; street -side stalls, cafe's by the dozen, hole-in-the wall shops, old French colonial government buildings now used for Vietnamese Government things, including the Post Office. I had wanted to send some liitle things to my three grand daughters; they enjoy mail arriving with their names on it. I bought identical packets of colouring pens and large notebooks for them to draw in and went to the Post Office. They parcelled them up for me there and wrote down a cost for postage, 230,000VND (about NZ$13) so that was fine. After filling in 2 separate forms in triplicate with carbon paper as well, for each parcel, including passport number, I was informed that the cost would be 305,000VND ... read more
Museum
Pretty in pink mozzie net
Typical trash on the Mekong

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Vinh Long March 6th 2018

Hot and sticky. Have I said that before? I'll probably say it again many times. The good news is that I have fully functional sweat glands. So, with that out of the way I'll recap my last couple of days. I discovered this week that there are no bars in Vinh Long. I asked Ms Tam if there was somewhere I could go to have a beer and watch the world go by. She asked, "You mean a bar?" According to her there aren't any in Vinh Long. She said it's not like Saigon. No,it isn't. Oh well. I found a boat restaurant today which serves bia on their top deck so I was able to sit out in the setting sun with a cold Saigon Special and watch the boats on the Mekong. Not too ... read more
Sunset from the bridge
The bridge from afar
Boating on the Mekong




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