Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Mekong Adventures Day 2

Up early today, Ben and I made the most of the free breakfast at the hotel; breadrolls, fried rice, real jam and coffee were eagerly consumed to set us up for another day in the Mekong.

By 7:30 we were all on a small dragon boat back on the river. At first it was onto the main river to see a huge floating market, putting yesterday's to shame; this one was full of sellers and buyers in the early hours of the morning.

From there we passed into a tributary and then swung into an even smaller stream, only just wide enough for two dragon boats to pass. Apart from the single cylinder engine that powered the long prop shaft steering the boat, the small river was very quite. Just the sound of children screaming out "hello" and waving frantically from the river banks also broke the silence.

About an hour down the stream we pulled up on the bank and had the oppourtunity to walk through a series of fruit trees over small bamboo bridges; sampling the different fruits by cutting them open with our penknifes. At the end of the walk, the guide showed us to a sheltered hut, just as it started to rain, where we were given even more fresh fruit - the mango out here is fantastic! We got speaking to a mother and son from Greece; the majority of the conversation seemed to be about Greek based films; 'Troy' and '300' were Ben and my suggestions, 'Mumma Mia' and 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' were the girls - the Greeks seemed a little bothered by the last one!

On the river again we headed back to Cam Tho; a brief stop at a market, where Ben bought a duck shaped alarm clock! Then we went by bus back to the hotel. It was midday when we arrived there and we had to wait until 3 o'clock until our bus would arrive to take us to Chau Doc (the last town in Vietnam). So, as we all had a fair bit of Dong to use we went to a large supermarket nearby (the first we have found in the whole country) and bought various things. Then we also bought some bright orange ponchos to use in the villages.

As I write this we are on the bus going west into the sunset. The river beside the road is still busy with people swimming and boats taking every kind of cargo imaginable. Vietnam is quite
literally behind us; Cambodia lays ahead.

"Good Evening Vietnam" - You haven't failed to impress.

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