Vietnam series: Mekong Delta, Vietnam and the floating markets of Can Tho

Goods for sale at the floating markets

Goods for sale at the floating markets

I wake up in my mystery hotel room in Can Tho at 5:30am.  Today is day 2 of my two day tour of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.  Yesterday was a very full day exploring the tributaries and canals around Ben Tre. 

Today our itinerary has us heading to the floating markets and I am looking forward to the day ahead.

I send a text to Alex… confirming I am not really a morning person:

“Warning.  Might be bit grumpy today (not really).  Had worst sleep…ever!  And its 5:30am and I have to get up and go to floating markets. (not really being ungrateful -just tired – already).”

We make our way from the mystery hotel down to the river where we board our first boat for the day and set out along the river.

Can Tho waterfront

Can Tho waterfront

We pass by an assortment of sights including more barges with large piles of earth and sand and well worn boats with improvised motors…

Boats with improvised motors

Boats with improvised motors

stilt houses built side by side on the river’s edge from scraps of tin and timber…

Stilt houses

Stilt houses

and a lone fisherman…

Lone fisherman

Lone fisherman

A parent and child approach us in the hope of selling us some refreshing soft drinks.

Drinks anyone?

Drinks anyone?

We eventually near the markets and I am sad to say I am somewhat disappointed.  I admit, I had a fanciful image of boats overflowing with flowers and fruits creating a feast of colour.  Back to reality and there is a handful of boats selling a selection of fish and dull coloured root vegetables.

Trading

Trading

Each boat’s produce is identifiable by a sample strung from the top of a bamboo pole at the front of the boat.

Root vegetables anybody?

Root vegetables anybody?

Regardless of my expectations, the experience was fascinating and wonderful and yet another moment of many in Vietnam where I think of home (and my local supermarket) and am reminded of how much I have to be grateful for.

The Vietnamese people are fascinating and I am so impressed with the uncomplicated work ethic that seems to run throughout the country.  Whatever the task, jobs are undertaken without complaint.  There seem to be very few idle hands in a very community minded country.

Still more old and worn boats pass us, immune to our tourist stares, as they continue onwards on their own journey.

One of our last stops for the day is at a rice noodle making demonstration where we are shown up close the skill behind such cottage industries.  They have this process down to a fine art. 

 

Rice noodle making

Rice noodle making

Our (small) group tour of the Mekong Delta comes to an end and we are transferred to our bus for our final 5 hours drive back to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC/Saigon). 

Please dont break... please dont break

Please dont break… please dont break

Once back in HCMC I seek out the refuge of my favourite hotel, the Mai Phai Hotel located centrally on Pham Ngu Lao Street in Ho Chi Minh.

I weaken tonight and order pizza for dinner.  Dinner is spent looking through my photos, recapping on my last two days in the watery world of the Mekong Delta.  Its nice to be on dry land. 

Tomorrow I have plans to head southeast of HCMC to the beach town of Vung Tau.  I am yet to make actual plans or book anything but am sure I can work it out tomorrow morning. [showmyads]

For previous Vietnam post see Mekong Delta, Vietnam exploring the tributaries and canals around My Tho, Ben Tre and Can Tho
For next Vientnam post see Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau and a beautiful beachside town