Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 5

I got up early, at about 5.30. I made myself a cup of instant coffee, enjoying coffee and looking out of the hotel window: the calm river, some people going jogging and doing morning exercise in the waterfront park, not much noise. We got downstairs, had breakfast, checked out and walked to the tourist harbour where the group gathered to continue our trip. It was sunny. But no problem because we travelled on the river. Windy and fresh air.
We went on the boat trip along Can Tho River, a branch of Hau River. Travelling here reminded of the boat ride in Bangkok. However, no highrise buildings along the river banks. We went through Cai Rang floating market. According to the guide, this was the biggest floating market in Vietnam. Local people sold and bought agricultural produce on their boat, mostly in bulk. Each boat had a long bamboo hanging what they sold. My son found it interesting. He tried to recognise what was sold here, mainly typical southern fruits.

After that we visited a family producing rice noodle. They worked and lived under the same roof. But the house was in a poor condition. I thought it could not protect them from the rain. Equipment was simple and the sanitation was poor. Next to the place they lived and worked was a pig house and duck cage. Dirty and smelling. I felt really sorry for them. How could they live in such a poor condition?
Then we visited a fruit plantation. But on the way there it rained heavily. My son and me were a bit cold. I learned another lesson. We should have brought a disposable light raincoat. The boat driver lent me one and a foreigner lent me his umbrella. He had a waterproof jacket. It was fine to walk from the boat to the plantation house in the rain. Because it was so wet, we could not walk in the plantation, just sat at the table and enjoyed some fruit. I bought jackfruit and mangos and guava. We liked these kinds of fruits. We found a dried gourd hanging on the pole. It had a special shape. Long time ago Vietnamese and Chinese people used it to keep rice wine. I asked to buy it for my son but the local people did not sell. My son liked it because he watched a Disney film about the magic gourd helping his master, a pupil at the same age as my son, to achieve his dreams.
We left the fruit plantation and back to Can Tho. We had lunch here and travelled back to Saigon. After the break on the road we changed to the bigger bus (50 seats). We slept on the way back. We got to Saigon at about 6 pm. We had a new room, 204. After having a shower we went out to have dinner in the restaurant with the photo of Harley. You can see the photo behind me. We went to bed at 10 pm. My feet were so tired. My friend recommeded me to have foot massage. But I could not overcome the feeling that a stranger touching me. Of course it was a professional touch. I knew it but still did not give it a try. In this field, I am conservative. How strange I am.