Last day of the 3-day tour.Started the day early to see floating houses around the Mekong.
These are not just ordinary floating houses. The Vietnamese living around the Mekong have their source of income right at the center of their homes, literally. Fish pens smack in the middle of the living room! I have seen several home businesses but this is certainly cutting-edge. A trap door is used to seal up the opening after fish feeding so no one would even guess the family were breeding hundreds of fish underneath.
The next stop which was also the last for the 3-day Mekong tour was the Cham Village, home to the Vietnamese Muslims. The moment we went down the boat, local kids cluster around us selling cakes and bread. No matter how hungry you are, don’t buy. A small warning sign is at the souvenir shop just a few steps from the boat deck indicating that the bread and cakes were past its expiration date.
We drove 2 hours back to Can Tho, had a quick-lunch at the Mekong Restaurant and got ready for the 5 hour drive back to Saigon. Most of the tourists in our group were either heading to Cambodia or enjoy the beach at Phu Quok Island. Only Ming and I would go back to Saigon with our tourist guide. Unfortunately, I forgot to take note of our tourist guides’ name. He’s an interesting guy, probably mid-50s. Always smiling and neat looking. He told me and Ming that after North Vietnam took over South Vietnam, he tried to escape by boat 4 times. Twice he was trying to leave for the Philippines, and another 2 times for Malaysia. He was caught all 4 times and was forced to undergo ‘re-education’, meaning to learn and understand the ways of the new government. He still feels not too happy with the reunification of the North and South, believing that South Vietnam may have been as progressive as South Korea now if not for the take-over. He still prefers to call the capital Saigon and not Ho Chi Minh City. I prefer Saigon too, because it is shorter.
So 5 hours of napping on the bus going back to Saigon.. dreaming of the coconut candies waiting for us at the TNK Travel office.. the cold Vietnamese local soda in our clean guest house, Kim My (USD $10 for a double room).. and the freshly cooked street food of Saigon.