Thursday 28th March
I’ve got to make this a short diary as I am running out of pads to write it on. Our eleven hour ships tour, started with a three and a half hour coach journey through Ho Chi Minh City (population 6.6 million). As we drove through it on our way to The Mekong Delta. I thought it looked like most of them were out on their small motor bikes. The leather coach seats were hard and drew my bum. And although we had a comfort stop on the way; we were all extremely pleased when we got to our destination.
The temperature outside the coach was 37°C and when I got out I started to curl up at the edges even before I got on the launch. This took us to Unicorn Island in the centre of the Mekong River. This busy river has its source high in the Himalayan Mountains. Our launch unfortunately, had wooden benches for our 15 minute crossing of this enormous river that in places is 30kms wide.
On the island we were taken to a family home, where the family members offered refreshments. They along with local people sang 5 Vietnamese songs, accompanied on weird looking musical instruments. The food and songs were really unusual and I enjoyed them. Vietnamese women are very beautiful, if a little slim, even they think so. Because when we looked in some shops we saw women’s knickers with built in buttock enhancers!
Next we walked in the sweltering heat to along a path to another family business. They showed how they break into the coconuts and then after grating the white meat inside they press this and get a liquid.
This they cook until it congeals and turns into a delicious toffee, which we could buy from them. We went past quite a number of family shops at the end of people’s gardens selling souvenirs etc. Until we got to an access point for the waterways that runs through the island. Here we boarded a narrow boat that was paddled by a beautiful woman at the front and her partner at the back; this took about half an hour. The winding waterway was crowded by the canoes that took just four passengers; ours was buffeted all along the waterway.
We were deposited directly onto our larger boat with the garden seats.
This took us back to our coach at the dock and then taken a Buddhist temple, to complete the cooking of my body in the intense heat of the blazing sun.
A little late, due to our first coach driver being taken ill and the second driver finding a fault with the coach. When we arrived at the hotel we had a typical Vietnamese meal which was very unusual and extremely tasty. After which we made the return three hour journey back to the ship berthed in Phu My.
Unfortunately I don’t have the room to tell you about a lady member of our group, who fell over, or another one who got lost. Or the third one who moaned about every single aspect of the trip!
So as I finish this at 9.30pm the same day, I wish you a good night.
Nib from the Mekong Delta