Friday, June 19, 2009

Can Tho

Our day started with a trip to the market - one different than any of us have every experienced. Can Tho is famous for its floating market at Cai Rang. We jumped on a small motor boat and journeyed up the Mekong, past hundreds of small boats and river houses. After fifteen minutes, we arrived at a logjam of boats in the river – the market. Sellers advertised their produce by hanging samples on a pole over the boat. Pumpkin, cabbage, sweet potatoes, sugar beets, and pineapple were the most popular items. I bought a Diet Coke (a Coca Coal Light, to be precise), and we also purchased some fine goods on the boat. Ask Joe to model his silk robe for you when you seem him after the trip.

We also had a chance to explore Can Tho for a few hours. Some of us went across the street to the museum commemorating the Vietnamese army in the fights against the French and eventually the United States. There was also a separate museum / shrine to Ho Chi Minh. It was tough to read, since it was all in Vietnamese, but it had hundreds of pictures and some cool artifacts from the life of the great leader.

We are now on our way to Chau Doc near the Cambodian border. Traffic doesn’t move as fast in Vietnam as it does in the US. We are currently peaking at about 55 - that’s km per hour, not mph – as the infrastructure isn’t as modern (especially bridges) and cyclos mob the streets and two lane highways. At Chau Doc, we will be visiting a few temples, check out Sam Mountain, a holy location for the people of the Mekong basin, and also go to a Cham settlement of Muslims. We also hope to see some floating fish farms before we head up the river to Cambodia.

Pictures are slow to upload, so please be patient ... I am working on it!

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