BootsnAll Travel Network

Can Tho: You Eeediot

Round 1 was taken by Vietnam in a TKO, and despite our hopes that things in Vietnam would pick-up, our second day got off to a less than inspiring beginning.

At 7am, as we were each half way through eating a crappy bowl of noodle soup for breakfast (in Laos, the noodle soup was brilliant, with big fat rice noodles and fresh flavours, but this was simply cabbage and raman noodles, or 2-minute noodles as we call them in Australia, in an oily liquid. Uggghhhh), our pickup arrived to take us to the bus we had booked through the rat-infested guesthouse. We pushed our soup aside – despite it’s average taste we needed plenty of food for breakfast before our bus trip to the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho – grabebd our bags, but then waited for 5 minutes whilst our unsmiling driver watched the end of a Vietnamese soap on the tv.

5 hours later, after an uncomfortable minivan ride spent watching the oncoming traffic swerve around us as we overtook every other vehicle on the road, we checked into a guesthouse in Can Tho, the unofficial capital of the Mekong Delta. The main reason for visiting Can Tho is to view the floating markets that pop along the final stages of the Mekong’s journey to the South China Sea, where the river splits itslef like an unwashed hair into numerous narrow canals that snake through the banana trees and rice fields.

That afternoon, as we took a leisurely stroll around town, we were approcahed by an old lady touting a boat trip out to the markets, “Just $14 per hour,” she exclaimed. We offered a polite no thanks, and then repeated ourselves no less than 10 times as she continued to shove photos of the trip in our faces. Eventually we made it past her, only to have her shuffle along behind us, about 10 metres back, following us round every turn we took.

As an escape we stopped in at a travel agent – we had to organise some flights from Vietnam back to Bangkok for the end of the month anyway, so this escape could, in theory, kill two birds with one stone. But you know what; in theory, communism works. In theory.

While we discussed flight costs inside, the old lady waited patiently out the front. We left the travel agent, crossed the road and sat down, only to hear the shuffling feet of ol’ miss boat trip coming across the road. As we attempted to thrash out our options for getting back to Bangkok, she shoved more photos of her boat trip in our face. Paris Hilton isn’t this annoying.

Unable to withstand the barrage, we got up and almost ran down the street to escape her – as I turned to look back, like Sarah Connor fleeing Arnie in the Terminator, I the old lady shuffling along in our direction. Once safely back at our guesthosue, we booked a boat trip out to the floating markets through the guesthouse owners for $3 per hour

We woke the next morning at stupid-o’clock (around 5.15am, I think) to see the sunrise on our way out to the markets.

A rather impressive sunrise greeted us as we sat back in a private boat driven by a local fisherman, and an hour down river we came upon the first of 2 floating markets we would visit that day. And it was the first time that Vietnam had made us smile.

Ladies in conical straw hats stood upright in narrow wooden boats filled iwth fruits and vegetables, piloting them with two long oars between the myriad other boats, stopping to trade goods and cash with other middle-aged women.

Larger wooden boats, similar to the slow-boats we’d caught previously, waited for the women to approach. They advertised their goods by hanging a sample of each of a long bamboo pole that stood proudly in the air – like flag-poles bearing the identity of each boat; pineapples, potatoes, carrots, jackfruit – they all hung from the poles proudly. Pieces of fruit were literally thrown through the air between boats, like a quarterback tossing a short pass to the wide receiver in American football.

We cruised between the boats, marvelling at something almost unimaginable back home.

From here, we turned off the main river and down a narrow channel, providing us a peaceful respite from the blaring engines of the many boats powering up and down the Mekong. The water was still and flat, and we sat back smiling at passing villagers on push bikes, watching dragon flies dart around the boat, and spotting strange little animals hopping about on the muddy banks. They were like half-fish, half-lizards, and skipped across the mud like, like……I couldn’t think of it at first, but whilst thinking of how to describe them – they really did skip across the mud – it hit me. Ren and Stimpy! Muddy Mudskipper!

They looked exactly like Muddy Mudskipper, the angry talk-show host from the briefly popular (and at times side-splittingly funny) cartoon, Ren and Stimpy. They were mudskippers, you eeediot.

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2 Responses to “Can Tho: You Eeediot”

  1. Mark Hogan Says:

    Clam dip anyone?

  2. Posted from Australia Australia
  3. Anonymous Says:

    you dont belong in vietnam, i marvel that you have such scorn for a country you chose to visit. mabye i am reading this out of context, but whatever. suck an egg.

  4. Posted from United States United States
  5. admin Says:

    Hmmm, do I get any bacon with that egg?

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