Floating Markets

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Can Tho, Vietnam

We were up at 5 am for breakfast at 5.30. The beds were rock hard so getting up wasn't as difficult as it might have been. We left the Homestay at 6 am to walk 10 minutes to the river where we got into a narrow boat to ride to the floating markets at Cai Rang.

By the time we arrived at the markets round 7 am they were in full swing. You could identity what each boat was selling as they attached it to a pole at the front of their boats. There was a large variety of fruit and vegetables for sale including pineapples, watermelons, sweet potatoes, salad greens and, jackfruit.

We climbed onto the roof of another boat to enjoy a pineapple each sprinkled with chilli salt. Yum. We also saw our travelling companions from yesterday enjoying a market visit.

After the markets we visited a vegetable garden and saw mandarin trees, jackfruit, dragon fruit, lemon grass, herbs and other plants. We then stopped to taste a range of tropical fruits including plum, guava, dragon fruit, jackfruit, logans, milky fruit (a bit like a custard apple), and at least one or two others.

Then it was time for the BBQ. We tried quail, frog, mouse and snake. We all had a little taste of each sharing with three others on our tour. Georgia thought the frog was slimy, and we all agreed that the snake was too bony. We went for the small snake, maybe the big snake would have had more meat. However we all liked the quail and the mouse which is caught in the rice paddies and therefore free range and grain fed. We also got to try a shot of rice wine, also known as happy water at 32% alcohol. None for the kids, though.

After that it was back in the boat and a stop at the local land markets. As the Vietnamese buy their food fresh every day there was lots of produce and crowds of people. We stocked up on some more sweet potato crisps and returned to the Homestay.

We had pho for lunch at the Homestay and then lounged around in the room and on the hammocks for a few hours. We then headed off on a bike ride on rather rickety bikes, so it was a much shorter ride this time. On our return we settled in for a couple of beers and a few rounds of 500, Georgia and I winning more hands than Simon and Jonno.

Dinner was amazing and the kids scored it 9 out of 10, which was equal to the pho in Ben Tre. It was BBQd snakehead fish, which we ate in rice paper rolls with lettuce, mint and noodles dipped in a tamarind and fish sauce followed by dragon fruit for dessert.

We have booked a car for tomorrow. Next stop Cambodia.

Happy new year everyone. Jonno has set us up to watch the fireworks in 9 minutes.