Days 30-32, Can Tho

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Can Tho, Vietnam
Day 30 – HCMC to Can Tho

I'd been in contact with The Green Village Homestay re options on transport from HCMC to Can Tho & settled on a private car (which was a new Mailinh 7 seater taxi) .

We took off mid-morning for the journey south to the delta.

A common habit I’d noticed with taxi drivers in Vietnam was that once up to speed they’d knock the gear stick into neutral & coast along for 5-10 seconds then select the appropriate gear to continue (supposedly to save fuel). Any decline in the road level also triggered this unusual action, not always done but highly noticeable to me…especially as I rode shotgun with R & E taking the rear seat. I kept an eye on things…especially those juggling 2 mobile phones on their lap!

Once out of the big city we hit an expressway that was flat, straight & dual lane each way. I recall it went for approx 40 km?

The other memorable recollection from this drive was in the latter half of the trip – every bridge we crossed would double as a speed hump in Australia. I’m buggered if I can understand how engineers can fail at meeting levels when building roads that approach a bridge . The driver had to back down to 2nd gear most times as any faster would smash the front end very quickly.

Can’t recall our drivers name but after ½ an hour on the road, I assume from his politeness, he hadn’t even turned on the entertainment system. A pointing exercise from me had him fire it up &, via 3.5mm cord into the aux port, R was feeding him some tunes from her tablet. As the album was our 24yo son’s tunes, & with Fangio looked similar age, he soon had his fingers tapping the wheel.

Now that’s international relations without a word spoken!

About 3 hours later we pulled up outside a small gate with a home-made sign post pointing along a cement path that disappeared into the greenery. I’d read jbr’s of people being dropped off on a roadside looking into the jungle asking themselves "what have I gotten myself into?"

I was completely comfortable & reassured what lay hidden down the path . It was after contacting Scott that we decided 3 nights would be ideal – so 3 nights I booked!

Thy (& yes Scott I passed on your regards) welcomed us with fresh fruits & a cool drink in the outside dining area.

We were allocated cabin 04 down the end of the path on the left complete with some hammocks close by amongst the trees. It was the 1st place we’d stayed that didn’t have an air-conditioner or TV. We found the pedestal fans adequate for moving air, E picked up on point 2 with-in seconds of entering the hut – his folks didn’t mind though!

After settling in we had a chat with Thy about 'what’s local’ and shortly after, armed with a mud map we headed toward the river. Interesting sights as locals go about their business. We crossed a foot bridge after turning left at the river & made our way towards music emanating from what turned out to be a junior school. There were about 20 children about 6-7yo practicing what I’d say was akin to fashion models parading the latest outfits to some blaring music running at 135 bpm . I guess the school had an event coming up where these youngsters would put on a show for others?

I kinda felt uneasy about the kids imitating 40kg models but hey, they looked very professional.

We made it back to the Green Village about 2 hours later for a frosty frothy (Ba Ba Ba) & later that night dined in for a delicious meal at a ridiculous cheap price.

Day 31 – Can Tho

We awoke to our 0530 alarm after a most restless night sadly. Our night was broken with rats running amok along the internal frames of our hut & we had a visit from one of the cats that reside at the village. To add misery there was the constant doof-doof from our neighbour’s stereo – although they could’ve been a mile away but when you add the still of the night & the phenomenon that low frequencies travel for 1.1 miles I did wonder how we’d happily survive 3 nights here.

An early brecky to start our day. We told Thy’s helper about the rats & she just said to smack the walls & they’ll disappear!

At 0600 our guide Lilly called in to start our day with her on a trip to the Cai Rang floating markets. After a short walk we boarded a boat for a 45 minute trip. The day was very calm & a light mist hung around the river adding to the aura .

We eventually moored next to a larger vessel that was anchored & loaded with pineapples. Lilly obviously knew the crew as we alighted onto the larger vessel & sat upon its roof to enjoy everything that was happening around us with a freshly skinned pineapple to nibble during our 30 minute stop-over. I’ve never had a pineapple so fresh & with such a balanced taste.

Our next move was to a local farm on the river’s edge that grew fruit as well as cooking small rodents for their visitors (mice [the size of rats], frogs & small black snakes). NO I didn’t partake, I prefer to stick to what I know!

Upon our return we again ate in-house then returned to our hut for downtime & relaxation – to just sit & absorb our surroundings was magic.

Other than meeting a young Danish couple who were also guests we had tea in-house that night & took it easy.

Day 32 – Can Tho

A much better sleep - thank you for asking.

By now you’d know we don’t travel to the max on our holidays so after brecky we retired to the hammocks for some web surfing on accommodation for the latter part of our trip in Thailand.

“Oh look, it’s noon” I heard so we downed our tablets & meandered up to the dining area for some more fantastic lunch . I enjoyed Thy’s spring rolls so much yesterday I ordered them again. Smart girl Thy, this time she brought out all the ingredients to make them & proceeded to instruct me on the art of ‘spring roll construction’.

After lunch Thy mentioned laundry & before you could say ‘whirlpool, simpson & hoover’ our clobber was hanging on a line. Even when we had a short thunderstorm she made sure it stayed dry.

By now I was pondering if we could bring her home as she was so wonderful.

With all our needs taken care of I again hit the hammock while R & E got the cards out for some 500.

As I needed to organise our onward travel I spoke to Thy & discussed with her my intentions. It was reassuring she agreed with my plans (with help from TA gurus) & I stood back as she rang & booked our taxi to Can Tho, bus to Chau Doc & boat to Phnom Penh! She treated us as good as our mother would’ve…no wonder her Homestay ranked so highly on TA .

Guess where we had tea??

Tomorrow we’d be leaving & like Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An we were feeling sad to leave such wonderful hosts – lucky for me Thy wrote in my journal - in Vietnamese she wrote instructions to show staff at the bus company about our onward trip, finishing with “wish u a good journey!” It’s like her entry in my visitor’s book.
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