DAY 8 - 04/05
We were driven to My Tho by our awesome driver, Vu, jumped on a boat and took a cruise around along the river.
|As soon as Joy took the wheel, Roxy took precautionary measures|
We hopped off the boat onto a tiny islet inhabited by a fruit-growing-families.
Exploring the fruit orchards...Joy getting up close and personal here with her favourite food right from the source - Gail got the big cocoa pod but trust the South African to go for the "Baby chocolates"
After poking around the garden we were treated to some delicious lemon and honey tea and some interesting fruit - Check Roxy munching on some dragon fruit (which co-incidentally is the fruit of her birth spirit animal)
Some interesting topiary - dragons are definitely a symbol that is displayed everywhere, in every way, shape and form. Quite impressive!!
All the ships we saw have these ominous looking eyes on the front - apparently they are a symbol of there to protect the sailors from the threats of the untamed ocean.
We visited a Coconut Candy making factory. The coconuts flesh is shredded, pressed and then boiled in a sugary syrup before it is left to cool. It is then rolled out, cut into perfectly sized pieces and packaged. The whole process is done by hand and the precision is incredibly...almost more accurate than a machine could achieve. They make all sorts of flavours - peanut, ginger, coffee and original were definitely our few favourites. Yum!
We found this bottle of alcohol which has a snake and scorpion inside it. It is a traditional drink which is apparently suppose to increase 'man-strength'. Haha!
Our fun-loving guide, Lam, had a nice little saying appropriate for this drink,
After lunch we finally got to do a little cycling. The first challenge was to remember how to actually ride a bike, manipulating the seat and choosing the right gear, then came the true test of remember to drive on the opposite side of the road and dodging on-coming traffic and the other numerous obstacles that were out to kill us!
It took us a little while but soon enough we were riding like pros, not quite confident enough to take photies though.
We then boarded our private boat which would transport us along the river to An Binh where we were to have a homestay.
On the boat we took part in a little impromptu Karaoke session - Hotel California may have featured a lot!
DAY 9 - 05/05
The children in the Mekong Delta were so friendly! This was the start of a Mexican wave of 'hellos' that we were to receive while cycling around the island.
We had been cycling for the entire morning and our bums needed a little break, so Lam cracked us open a couple of fresh coconuts and we enjoyed the delicious, refreshing coconut water! A first for us!
It was then back on the bikes for our afternoon session. We cycled around the little villages and came across a school that was having break time.
DAY 10 - 06/05We were up bright and early to catch a boat to witness the Floating Market. There are many all around the Mekong Delta but we went to the largest on in the area, the Cai Rang Floating Market.
Hundreds of boats float around the market. The sellers store all their produce on their boats and the buyers sail to each on and purchase what they need. The selling boats advertise their products by hanging samples on poles. Much like flying a pumpkin flag! They selling boats are even arranged in isles according to what they are selling to make it easier for the buyer to compare price and quality!
Along the way we passed a few festive fruit farmers who were enjoying some social time at 10am. They beckoned us to join them and when we were offered shots of rice wine, we simply could not refuse!
|From left to right: Beverly, Gail, The unmarried playboy, Joy, Willow (eternally young soul), the strong silent type, the hunter gatherer (provider of fruit and unnamed meat), Lam and the joker of the group|
|Hmm...Delicious! That face says it all!|
|Joy got her game face on|
We then headed back to the hustle and bustle of the busy city of Ho Chi Minh!
The Mekong Delta and the cycling definitely provided a well needed escape and was an amazing way to see the beautiful landscape, eat the interesting fruit/food and most importantly meet some incredible local people!!!!