Mekong Delta: Hung’s Homestay & Can Tho In Pictures
One of the bigger things to do while in the Mekong Delta is to stay in a homestay. However the Vietnamese variety that most people (and me this time) do are not really homestays as much as family run guesthouse like hostels or bungalows. I found one around Can Tho that was pretty fantastic. It was a pretty big complex of bungalows on the river. While not usually a fan of tours, Hung ran a small laid back one that was quite informative. The family style dinners were also quite delicious with friendly other travelers to chat with.
Some of the bungalows are right on the river with benches overlooking the fine sunsets.
Hung, owner of the homestay and supposedly former tour guide, ran a boat tour to the Can Tho markets and surrounding canals. The houses along the way were fun.
Life on the river can look like it hasn’t changed in a while.
The oft gloomy weather makes for some interesting skies.
The boats at the wholesale market put their wares on bamboo poles to advertise what they have. These guys have everything! The market was not quite consumer level and I couldn’t really buy much besides some fruit and peddlers selling drinks to tourists.
Hung explained how he grew up right after the war and back then, the country was rather poor. There were no toys so they made them out of bamboo leaves. Here he shows some boys how to make bamboo leaf boats.
The wife half of a rice noodle making factory. She ladles out the rice flour and tapioca concoction to cook on a muslin stretched over a boiling pot fueled by burning rice husks.
The husband picks up the cooked rice paper with a basket like stick. The burned up rice husk ashes are used as fertilizer. No part of the rice is wasted.
At the sleeping mat weaving home. It takes two women an hour to make a mat. I do like having a local guide around to ask my endless curious questions.
A local crossing a “monkey bridge”. I looked much less graceful crossing the same bridge.
The views from the monkey bridge were nice. I like that the boat has its own shelter.
The Mekong Delta is the most fertile part of Vietnam, producing 80% of its rice export.
Hung took a quick glance and said “200 bananas!” The rest of us did not have banana estimating skills that good and made him check. He was pretty close.
I don’t think I’d seen a banana flowering on the tree before this. That is one big banana flower! They eat those in salads and stews here.
This inedible fig tree had fruits spouting all over its trunk and branches. During the Vietnamese New Year (lunar) the people pray with mangoes, papayas, custard apples, coconuts and figs.
While I’ve eaten a lot of watermelon I don’t think I’ve seen one still on the ground before. Why yes, I did grow up in a city, why do you ask?
While in the area I went to Long Xuyen to visit a crocodile farm. There are no wild Vietnamese Mekong crocs anymore. This bunch of 3-6 year olds were destined for the dinner plate and bag factory. I found their meat firmer than fish but mushier than meat.
The bigger 16-22 year olds are breeder crocodiles and get to laze around in bigger quarters. They’ve escaped a deadlier fate as their flesh is tough and skin not beautiful anymore. Crocodiles open their mouths to cool off. Most terrifying cool off ever.
So ends my adventures in the Mekong Delta in this country. The rainy season has started so I will be rushing back to Saigon now to sell my bike and go off on a new adventure.