This is our last full day in South Vietnam. It has been a joy. Everyone smiles and is very helpful. I am really looking forward to visiting the north.
There has been a problem with up-dating the website as WiFi has not been rapid except last night when I had no time to do anything and was exhausted. Anyway, I am going to concentrate on text until we get another decent signal when I shall put up some photos.
Today we had a great treat as we took a boat from the hotel to the floating market in Can Tho. We set off at 6.30am and had breakfast on the boat. I am getting used to early rising as it is always better to start early and make the most of the daylight and the cooler part of the day. The market was buzzing when we arrived with punts with long tail engines buzzing around among the larger barges. Every variety of fruit and vegetable was being sold. Many of the punt drivers were shop keepers and restaurant owners so they left well laden.
The rest of the day has been spent driving along small roads, quiet apart from scooters, through the paddy fields. The map is a network of canals. Part of our route was suggested by Tracy, one of the Vietnamese agents who travel with us. We would never have found thie tiny roads that were not on the map without her.
We stopped for coffee where there were a number of people already eating. It turned out that this was not a restaurant but a family party and our drinks had been fetched from the cafe next door. All the men were sitting at table and eating while the ladies and children watched, sitting around the room. The host was a Frenchman who had married a Vietnamese girl. We were able to communicate in French. They could not have been more kind. Lunch was crisps from a little basket provided by the agent, topped up each day with water and snacks. We have not had this service before.
We also stopped at Ba Chuc, near the Cambodian border. This was a village where the Khmer Rouge murdered all (two survivors) the inhabitants in two weeks in March 1978. The museum was a series of shocking photographs. There was also a memorial with sculls and other bones.
Our hotel is a basic one but everything functions and dinner was good. We have had all our evening meals organised so far as there has not been much else on offer. We have eaten lunch in all sorts of places but in the evening it has been good to know that a meal was at hand. Even in Dalat, where we could have found somewhere else, we were advised that the hotel had the best restaurant in town. All these meals were included in the price of the room and in what we paid in advance so we are not spending so much along the way. Everything seems very cheap anyway.