After almost three days in Ho Chi Minh City, Steph, Rickie, and I were feeling a serious need to get the hell out! The city was overwhelming, difficult to navigate, and really polluted.
Thus, we hopped an evening bus to Can Tho, a small town on the Mekong Delta, after having one last meal in HCMC at a great restaurant around the corner from our hotel. We arrived fairly late in the evening after an interesting movie display of white and asian women doing Ku Fu fighting and a stop at a massive rest stop filled with an indoor market and small restaurants. Here is the short lived encounter with the raw meat wedding cakes. Instead, Rickie stuck to the dumpling you’ll find in the pictures. Mystery meat and hard boiled egg? At least it was cooked.
It was a relief to get off the bus since by the end it was filled with the stench of vomit, and there wasn’t a bathroom in sight. At the hotel we were instantly greeted by a small Vietnamese man who wanted to sell us a tour of the floating markets in the morning. Since it was so late, and we only wanted to stay a day in Can Tho, we didn’t have much choice but to try and negotiate a deal with him.
Our 5 am wake up call wasn’t too welcome, but it was totally worth it in the end. We made it out on the water before right as the sun was rising 🙂 Our boat river, Hung, was super sweet. He did a great job driving (even through the thick weeds!!) and had a lot to share in terms of the nature we saw along the way, like how the leaves on garlic and lime trees, when crushed, smell like lime and garlic respectively.
Another neat activity was stopping to watch rice noodle production, and also got to see a rice paddy. The highlight of the trip might have been crossing the bamboo bridge…we weren’t sure it was going to hold!
The markets themselves were also really cool, although I had envisioned something else. Boats filled with produce pulled up together in certain spots, and men and women (majority women) passed their fruit or vegetables across to one another. It was a great event to be a part of.
Another thing I wasn’t expecting was the noise. The boats are all motor-run, and diesel to top it off. There was a constant puff of exhaust coming from Hung’s boat and every other boat that passed us.
The rest of the day was pretty mellow…lunch, a nap, and a hang at a hotel with effective wireless and delicious, exotic juices. We had to run around that night to figure out how we were getting out of Can Tho so we could continue our journey to Phnom Penh, and I wasn’t too thrilled to hear it would require us waking up at 3.45 the next morning…