Saturday, February 13, 2010

Back in Vietnam

Well, I tried no fewer than five times to post these photos of one of our last days in Vietnam, and by golly, I want to tell this story! So even though we are in Bali now, I will do a little back tracking. We decided that we wanted to spend our last two days in Vietnam in the Mekong Delta, and it is very easy to find trips going there from Hoh Chi Minh City. The first one we saw cost $190 per person, which was way too high, so when we asked at our hotel, she referred us to a travel agency that charged a mere $24 for the same overnight trip. Well, that should have been our first clue, but we were so pleased by the bargain that we signed up.
The bus was a little old, and the air con wasn't really working, but we ended up at the same place as all the other tourists.

Here is our lunch stop, and our lunch of river fish. The nice woman saw Jim struggling with his fish and offered to make up his rice paper rolls for him. Sort of like a fish taco.
I had grilled prawns, which has been my standard meal in Vietnam and now in Bali. They are cheap and usually very good. It is amazing that I have not turned into a prawn, for all that I have eaten!
After lunch, we sauntered over to the crocodile "farm" where several of these hungry guys were waiting for us. One German fellow decided to throw Jim's fish head to them and it was gone in an instant!
This was another stop along the trail--the coconut factory, where they make delicious coconut
candy, which some of you may get to sample. And at every stop, there was plenty to buy, from sunglasses to crocodile shoes and bags. Hmmm.
We rode in a boat like this through the narrow channels. Most of the boat oarspeople were women.We also rode for a short way on a pony cart. They kept us busy for the entire morning. I haven't even mentioned the stop for honey tea and music performance, or the rice pancake making demo.
Soon it was time to return to our bus,,where most of the tourists disembarked for a return to HCMC. But we were going to stay overnight and see a floating market in the morning.
Back on the road, I asked our guide how much longer we would be driving to our final destination. Three hours, he said. THREE HOURS more?? On a hot bus? Then how long back the next day? Five hours, he said. At that point I was starting to freak out, and told Jim that I could not ride 3 more hours, then 5 the next day, only to get on a plane at 9pm. Reluctantly, Jim asked our guide to let us off the bus so we could return to HCMC. He did not want to do it, but I was insistent. So there we were, two gringos,standing by the side of the busy highway, with our guide trying to flag down a bus. Finally one stopped--a sprinter van like the one our son drives, packed to the brim with locals. I sat almost on top of one poor guy and our driver drove like a bat out of hell toward HCMC. I guess I felt lucky to have found the ride, and I suppose if I was ever in the Amazing Race, I would want him for my driver. We made it back, with people helping us find our way at every turn. Some last days!

1 comment:

  1. I think I'd rather swim with the crocs than ride on those buses, Cynthia. But what a colorful trip it's been! Thanks for helping us follow along with your travels.