Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mekong Delta Tuesday 16th Oct

The hotel for last night was the Golf Can Tho. It was quite luxurious. Especially compared to the conditions that most of the 22 million who live in the Mekong Delta. Mind you, the Delta covers a massive area. Can Tho has about 1 million residents. It was a bustling night market area with plenty of sellers but not many tourists about. It is still the low season.
The morning saw the guys feeling better, but not perfect. Shelley and I got through the night okay, but a little unsettled. Between the 6 of us, we didn't make much of a dent in the massive buffet breakfast. There is hardly another sole in the hotel!
The tide has subsided and we head off for another boat ride to the floating markets. The river is alive early in the morning with boats selling their fruit and vegies. It is a fascinating sight. Their produce is advertised by hanging an item high on a pole from the rear of their boat. Lots of pineapples, watermelons, dragonfruit, pumpkins and sweet potato. Mind you, we haven't had any of the latter ( and they are my favorites). There are even floating "cafes" coming up to the boats. We passed on that.
On our return to the bus, we stopped at a rice processing plant (if you could call it that - still basic traditional methods). A stroll through the village along the river back to the bus. God, it is hot and only 10.30am. Real estate agents say that location is everything, but riverside frontage on the Mekong is probably not quite the easy sale that it would be in AUS. However, the locals don't know any different and they seem contented with life.
A long bus ride back to HCMC. Some of the roads rival those in QLD. Once again, we are amazed by the motorbikes everywhere. It is their main transport. Horns constantly tooting. That must be the first part that needs replacing. It certainly isn't their indicators!
We had a couple of hours to spare in HCMC before our delivery to the airport. Had a pleasant late lunch while it poured outside. It is funny to watch all the locals on their scooters as it is about to rain. They pull over, put on the poncho and away they go. The poncho goes over the handle bars and over a passenger or two if they don't have their own. The most we have seen on a motorbike is 4. Usually families. One little one in front of the driver and a smaller one in between mum and dad.
Flight to Nha Trang left on time at 7.15. About 50 mins but 1/2 hour bus ride to hotel. Beautiful Novotel hotel. Great night time view from balcony along beach. Exhausted though. Room service at 10 for dinner then crashed.
Now 12 pm on Wednesday. Already had a swim across the road. Beach is very nice and water temp. is fabulous.
Relaxing day ahead.

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