Thursday, 3 January 2013

Can Tho

Our journey from Hong Chong to Can Tho was extremely entertaining. We only had 178km to drive on board an 18 seater bus. The journey took 7.5 hours and at the high point there was 35 people crammed in. Using local transport is definitely a must do for anyone's Vietnamese experience. Quite funny to be thinking about how many stupid H&S rules are broken, and how do they all fit in, and more amazingly how do we make it over each bridge (bridges are built at about 70 degree angles, making the bus jump and tip over each one).

Floating market
Can Tho is the meeting point of the Mekong Delta...or so we are told. It is very believable though, with an amazing massive floating market being the focal point every morning Vietnam's 5th largest city. We experienced this with a local CSer organising a boat and acting as our guide for the day. After wandering through and buying a few fruits we headed off to a rice noodle factory. Very interesting how they dry them out and how complex the whole process is just to get noodles.

One of a few temples
A brief rest back at our hotel we then started the second half of the day, included in our low priced accommodations: a city tour. Two local students that also pose as receptionists hopped on motos with us and showed us the cultural highlights of Can Tho. We even had a bit of time to spare from the temples, markets, and history lesson, so enjoyed some green drinks (made using some sorts of beans and aloe vera) at a local "bar" before they dropped us off at our next destination. For our evenings entertainment we booked a spot on a night time dinner cruise along the Mekong. Food was of course overpriced but what was more amazing than the sights was the insane loudness of the music. Conversation was off the table, as each floor of the floating light bedazzled barge had a different singer trying to outdo the other mostly just by all having their volumes cranked on high. The effect of which was quite deafening, and did detract from the cruise overall.

Can Tho at night, as viewed from Mekong
We had a long walk back to the hotel because unlike every other place we have been to Can Tho shuts down at 9 pm. So no buses or motos to speak of, and all the food stores were also shut. Quite odd considering the size and importance of this city.





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