Mekong Delta Tour-The Faces of the Floating Market

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, January 31, 2011

At 6h15 in the morning the hotel staff were banging on doors to get everyone up for the start of the tour. I shower, pack up my stuff, then head down to the lobby for breakfast. At 7h15 the tour guide tells us it's time to head to the docks and get on the boat for the tour of the large floating market. But there's a problem. Of the group of 9 obnoxious Australians, two still haven't come down and the others from their group think they are still sleeping. We leave without them.

This was possible as we were returning to this town for lunch and to pick up our packs.

After a 30 minute boat ride up the Mekong we arrive at the market. There are many boats. We "park" the big boat and groups of 7 or 8 head off in a smaller boat nearer the action. An hour and a half later the last of the group get into a small boat. I was part of this group and there was only 5 of us.

I'm sitting in the back next to the driver. I'm taking all these photos sitting down. Then the driver indicates I should stand up to get some better shots. I love it when my angels help me out.

We're now on our way to visit a rice paper making facility. We get off the boat and have to start walking single file along a busy road. We walk for a while and then turn off down this path. We arrive at our destination a short while later. We do the tour and then it's time to leave. But there's a problem. The 7 obnoxious Australians are missing. They never turned with the group and kept on walking straight through on the main road (for 3 kms we found out later). The guide sends out a search party on a scooter. We wait about 10 minutes before they show up. Then we wait some more so that they can rest and get something to eat and drink from all the walking they did.

Back on the boat and we head back to town and lunch. The group gets separated between the two floors of the restaurant. The 3 from Australia plus Anna from Germany that I've been hanging out with are on the main floor. I've gone upstairs thinking they were following me. I notice a guy sitting by himself. I had seen him on the tour alone. I ask him if I can join him. He says yes. He's from the Czeck Republic on a 2 week holiday. His wife and 2 children are still at home. His daughter has traveled with him to Canada and the USA but his wife stays home with the younger son. He does home renovations of 300 year old houses. We chat throughout lunch even though his english isn't that good. He says he understood very little of the tour guide's explanantions during the morning. This is something I've been wondering. How well do individuals understand each other when they use a language (english) that they've only learned later in life. Seems like it's not very well.

We wandered around town for about an hour until it was time to head back to the hotel and then got on a bus to meet up with the sunset boat cruise up the Mekong to Chau Doc where we stayed in a floating hotel.

I took so many amazing photos today. My friend Monique sent me a link to a Street Photo Competition that was just announced. I have so many photos to chose from that were taken today. Enjoy this small sample.
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