Travels took us to the very south of Vietnam, the fertile Mekong delta where farming and in particular rice growing feeds the expanding population of the nation. It was refreshing to leave the city behind and travel through some countryside, heading for Can Tho to board our boat for the night, the Bassac.
It was fascinating to sit on deck, watching the banks of the river slip by. From an initial wide and somewhat industrial river, the watercourse narrowed to a more rural landscape, the banks dotted with collections of rustic homes. Boats of all sizes and types plied the river, from barges ploughing upstream to ferries carrying scooters from one bank to the other. Through all of these wove the small fishing boats plying their trade.
After a delicious lunch of seafood, we disembarked to visit a local village and enjoy fruit and tea with a local family.
Back on board it was dinner time, but unfortunately the mayflies decided to feed too! These guys make our midgies look like amateurs so it was a hasty retreat to our cabin after dinner!
Up early the next morning we watched the endlessly changing vista and reflected on this being real life, with no show for the tourists. In years to come this environment will continue with very little sense of change; it may be a simple life but it’s challenging too.
Soon we were off again, disembarking on to small boats to be paddled through a small canal in the heart of the jungle terrain.
Finally we visited a floating market where locals bought their fresh fruit and vegetables. This is a place where life is hard earned but the locals seem happy and thankful. We felt welcomed by all.