Roughin' it in the Delta

Trip Start Sep 25, 2010
Trip End Oct 11, 2010

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Homestay near My Tho

Flag of Vietnam  , Bến Tre,
Friday, October 8, 2010

Left Saigon early for the 2+ hour bus trip to My Tho on the Mekong River. I reckon half of that was spent going the first couple of hundred metres from the hotel - a slight exaggeration but the traffic is something else. If you replaced just 10 percent of the motos with cars, the city roads would become parking lots. Anyway its always interesting to see how much stuff or how many people you can load onto a motor scooter and still ride it, so the view from the bus is always mind boggling.
On to My Tho and a boat(Mekong taxi)  with the grinning, joking man that was to be our guide for the day. He was actually quite funny no matter how predictable his jokes were. What a day of experiences. 
We were sweetly sung to by very long-haired women (hair reaching almost to their feet!!) while eating rambutans, dragon-fruit, longans and drinking green tea.  We saw how coconut candies are made by hand, caught a Mekong island taxi (horse drawn cart) to see snake handling (Michael wore the carpet snake around his neck!!) , native bee-hives, caught another Mekong Taxi (small boat) along a narrow canal to lunch and finally caught another Mekong Taxi (motor boat) to our home-stay island where we trekked through villages along a maze of flooded narrow paths to our home-stay destination. Brenda got a lift on a moto (Mekong Taxi) the final 500m.
And there it was, an indoor/outdoor bunkhouse with two rows of stretcher beds with blue mosquito nets. Claimed a bed away from my friend Amir who's snoring we have already experienced (not far enough away) and settled into life 150mm above the water table. With yet another good meal , jasmine tea and plenty of "Happy Water",( this time banana wine) and many an animated conversation, we headed off to our beds feeling safe that the titanium mosquito net would keep us safe from pythons, rats, crocodiles and rabid dogs. With lightning from a monsoonal storm in the distance it was actually a pleasant nights sleep. (Except for Amir's snoring and the roosters who are on New Zealand time).
The jungle breakfast was basic but always served with a smile. A couple of the lads, Dan, young  Michael, Amir & Matt looked a little worse for wear but bravely soldiered on to the Mekong Taxi (guess) for the trip back to My Tho.
We all decided to pay the extra to visit the Cu Chi tunnels - a great park where we got to crawl through VC tunnels, fire  M16's and learn how the peasant soldiers outwitted the powerful and highly armoured  Americans with basic weapons and tactics, including some horrific traps. 
On to Saigon for our last night out with the group and everyone betting that Sylvana will cry.
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