This morning, we were up bright and early again, with the roosters, at 5:30am. One of the side effects of living at a homestay. We had a lovely breakfast prepared when we woke up, and once we were all packed and ready to go, we took a short stroll to a boat, and sailed along the Mekong Delta. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what we got. It was fascinating to see the houses backing onto the river, and the interaction, and reliance, that the locals have on the river system.
Once we left the more rural Mekong delta section, we sailed through the bizarre world of the floating market. Consisting of hundreds of wooden boats selling a whole host of extraordinary items, the floating market was quite a strange sight. Again, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it. We stopped at a pineapple boat, and tried some of the freshest and sweetest pineapple I have ever had the pleasure of trying. They also sell coffee everywhere here, and according to Thuy, a girl on the tour of Vietnamese descent, the coffee here is really good. I need to try it at some point.
Once we left the river, we jumped back on our bus, and headed to the big city of Ho Chi Minh. I tell you, these 4hr bus journeys are starting to add up, but also fly by quickly. Once we arrived in Ho Chi Minh city, we dumped our bags in the hotel, and set off for the central market. As there was a religious festival on while we were in Cambodia, many of the markets were closed throughout the time we were there, so it was nice to finally see one working in such a big city. Again, Thuy’s local knowledge came in useful, and we finally tried some street food in the market, at a discounted price no less. It was really lovely, I am just a bit gutted that everything here seems to have lemongrass and coriander. Oh well.
After the central market, we wandered the town looking for interesting architecture and other shopping options. We passed through a mall of the most expensive shops in the world (á la Cartier, Rolex, Dior….to name a few) and came out near the opera house. It’s more traditional appearance was in stark contrast to the neighbourhood of sky scrapers etc. Everyone here seems to ride motorbikes. Crossing the roads have become seriously scary business, as if they weren’t before!!
We visited Notre Dame church next, which was an interesting sight in a city which I thought was predominantly Buddhist. Maybe I have just become used ot Buddhism everywhere in the past few days. We went into the post office as well, which seemed very traditional, and large!! I think I may post some postcards home tomorrow. Afterwards, we popped into Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee. When we left it was chucking it down, full on rain and thunder. Jade and I got caught in it, and by the time we were home,, we resembled drowned rats!
Our room may not have a window, but it does have a jacuzzi bath and a decent shower, so full use of those has of course been made. AS has the use of the wifi to video call family at home! Very lovely. We have also managed to watch Strictly Come Dancing. I get that might be sad, but you have to have some home comforts when you’re away from home as long as we are!! I think Scott, Alison, and Frankie are my favourites so far 🙂
We went for Kev’s farewell meal tonight, I can’t believe he is leaving already. This tour is just flying by at a crazy rate! I am glad for the day off tomorrow. Shame about the sleeper train in the evening, I have read everywhere that it is an experience. Not sure if that is good or bad, We’ll soon see!