Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

mekong delta on a headache

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:34 PM
3.5 hours ride to Vinh Long on the Mekong delta. First we visited a very strange temple called cao dai. It's a very small but pretty temple with 2 colorful towers. This religion honors 4 deities: bhudda, confucious, lao tzu and jesus. In fact, 4 statues representing all 4 deities were on the altar, all under the 'all seeing eye'. go figure. After this strange temple, we got on a boat (how many boat rides have we had so far?) and cruised the delta to see orchards and sampled lots of local produce, jackfruit, water melons, bananas, dragon fruit. Stopped to see a cottage industry of rice paper, coconut candy and rice popcorn and snake wine. there was a python in a cage. It was the shop owner's pet.The snake looked relatively mild, so I've touched its skin. scaly, hard, sharp, smooth and shiny. We observed how rice paper, coconut candies and rice popcorn were made and made some purchases. The sampan ride on a small channel lined with small houses and gardens and wooden bridges, was very tranquil. All sampan had women drivers. the lunch at the eco tourism was out of this world. Fried elephant ear fish in a fantastic presentation, hooked on a stand. we cut up the meat and wrap it in rice paper, mixed it with cucumber, lettuce and peanuts. This is the typical mekong delta appetizer. It was heavenly delicious. Next small deep fried chicken spring rolls and giant prawns with heads on, of course, grilled. light veggie soup with small meat balls (typical of a mekong delta meal), a pork dish and steamed rice. jack fruit for dessert. Food this good, how can the women here be so thin? Next more orchards and more fruit trees, durian, jackfruit which looked exactly like durians except the skin arent pointy and sharp, green guavas, bell apples, bananas, longans, tamrind which looked like long peanuts (very ugly fruit), star fruit (carambola), rambutans, avocados, and lots and lots of coconuts. I was all fruit out.

We finally made it to our delta homestead situated at a very shallow and narrow channel. The homestead offered very basic accommodation. the rooms designated for us were inside a big guesthouse built in the style of local mekong delta house. all rooms, although each had its own door, are all open on the top, under the guesthouse roof. Bathrooms were wet rooms (shower and toilet in 1 room) and communal, unisex. Sinks were outside the wet rooms. The living/restaurant area was all open, with a few hammocks. I've climbed on one and was happy for while until a terrible headache started to develop. for the rest of the day I could barely stand the pain. Went to my room, lowered the mosquito net and sprayed deet all around. A small dirty looking towel was offered but didnt use it. I brought my own towel and went for a shower, which was a huge mistake. The shower head barely produced any warm water with any pressure and the floor was of course completely wet. good thing I remembered to bring my flip flops. Dinner though was very good. The owners showed us how to make tamrind pancakes and I've made a small one because with the headache, i didnt have any appetite. the delta appetizer of fish, rice paper, rice crackers and some veggies came of course, this time the fish was boiled. I couldnt even eat it. The waiter made one wrap for each of us, but I had to give mine to John. Lemongrass chicken, light veggie soup and rice followed and i couldnt eat those either. Pineapple and water melon for dessert. i just looked at them and sighed. I've excused myself and went back to my room and crashed. half way through the nite, I had to use the bathroom. All lights were out except for 2 fluorescent tubes above the wet rooms, so I had to use my flash light to illuminate the way. Almost stepped on the dogs that were sleeping in front of the bathrooms. Lowered my pants to pee and scourge of hungry mozzies attacked my deet free butt. had to remember to deet my butt as well next time. needless to say, i didnt enjoy the homestead. had i not had the debilitating headache, the homestead on the mekong delta would have been a nice relaxation.

Mekong Delta photos:



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