A Travellerspoint blog

February 22, 2020

cruising the Mekong River

sunny 33 °C

Today Jim, Helen and I did not go on the morning excursion, decided to stay on the boat and chillax! We had a great morning catching up on being mellow! Hung around and read caught up on my blog, the internet has been sketchy the last few days so I’m a little late posting. I was starving....where the hell is the morning excursion group...they were supposed to be back by 11? They finally show up shortly after 12 with stories about their boat dying.....sure enough they were towed back.

After our lunch and a break our afternoon entertainment is ready to depart! Loaded up into the boat and away we go to visit Con Phuoc island, there are canals everywhere and the first one we’re on we hear and see these birds (they look like our barn swallows), they are Starlets. Bao explains that right here we can see 3-4 story cement buildings, these are bird houses....so weird, there are little hole in the walls for the birds to get in where they make their nests out of their own saliva. These people are harvesting the nests at a certain point and selling them for birds nest soup! So gross.... apparently a bowl of that soup can be up to $100 US dollars, won’t be getting my business I can tell you. There are all kinds of ferries transporting people, scooters and tuk tuks. In town, we’re cruising around in our chariots, the Vietnamese Tuk tuk. Our first stop is a local house, actually descendants of the first family that lived on this island. On the front steps are six women in the throes of making bamboo baskets! They grow the bamboo in their yards and everyday they gather out front to make baskets, all sizes! Quite the operation. The youngest lady is 68 and the oldest is 90! Hard at work, of course I bought a couple of baskets!

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Back in our ride we’re off to see an old Catholic Church, the people in this village are catholic. Most of Vietnam are either Buddhist, Confucian or Tao (more on that later), but the majority of the country has no religious belief at all. We arrive at the church, which is quite nice and find out that it has been renovated numerous times so I would hardly call it an old church! We wander around the grounds while our guide ‘Bao’ tells us the history of this particular church, inside are women singing their roseries! Back to our ferry! Off we go on the ferry and our next stop is a mango farm! First off we have tea and some fresh mango! Oh man that’s good. I do so wish we could get mangoes like this at home. The farmer then leads us back into his grove and thru our guide we learn about this farm and how the mangoes are grown and harvested. They are actually going to harvest some tomorrow. When the mango is about a month old the farmers wraps them in special bags, these bags of different colours and black inside determine the colour of the mango, some are red, some green and some yellow. He exports about 1.5 million tonnes of the fruit every year. They can get 2 to 3 crops of fruit every year.

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Back on our boat and we sit on the sundeck to watch life on the river here, it’s very busy with sand dredging, fish farms and ships transporting shipping containers. Have to tell you about the boats here and the eyes on the front of them. The ancestors believed that these eyes would protect them from the sea monsters and bring them home safe to their families! So the tradition continues. The sand dredging is constant, even with all the erosion going on here, the government still gives licenses out to companies. Beautiful night here tonight but we are all so exhausted...we went to bed early....

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Posted by Mgiroux55 16:48 Archived in Vietnam

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