Thursday, May 30, 2019

A Holiday in Vietnam - The Mekong Delta and Sampans

"Round eyes on table 9", said the waiter I am sure when he got back to the kitchen after taking our order.  What a marathon it was for the poor guy.  We chose this particular restaurant because

 it was full of locals, but of course, we were unable to read the menu which made things a little tricky.  Anyway, we received yet another great meal for less than $40 and The Biggest Beach House Brat said it was his best yet.

Speaking of Australian tourists, sadly the ugly variety are alive and well here in Vietnam.  The kids went off to the gym after yesterday's day trip for a workout.  It's adjacent to the pool area.  They returned within half an hour, which was unusual.  They were white as sheets and began recounting the story of some Australian bogans covered in tats who were seriously drunk, smashing glasses, swearing and scaring off all and sundry from the pool area.  I asked The Biggest Beach House Brat why he didn't stay in the gym as it was in a separate room and watch the whole thing unfold.  

He said that when the security guards arrived en masse to kick them out, he saw it was going to escalate and decided to get The Littlest Beach House Brat out of there before it got any uglier and they were swept up in it by association of nationality.  Let's just say I doubt we will see them at breakfast this morning, as their's will no doubt be served through a cell door.

As for the Mekong Delta, it was fascinating.  We were transported to one of the less touristy islands in the Delta, first via longboat and then sampan, which was a highlight.  The Littlest Beach House Brat even loved the sampan experience. 

It certainly felt that the Viet Cong or US Marines could jump out at any minute and kill us.  It was a kind of eerie experience but interesting and real nonetheless.

 Coconut Island was the name of the island.  It is the largest producer of coconut products in Vietnam.  Not one fibre, coconut shell, leaf or trunk of the tree is wasted.  I did not know, but the front door mats we use regularly at home are made from coconut fibre.  The best bit was the coconut candy they make.  It is delicious because it was not that sweet.  They combine it with chocolate, coffee and other things and it is so delicious. Always looking for a new business angle I would love to import it for the health properties alone.  It would sell like hotcakes as an alternative to lollies.  They are hand made and hand wrapped.  I have never been a fan of the lolly, even as a little kid I would be the guest at children's parties drinking tap water and overdosing on KFC, but these lollies are for just those types of people.... non-sweet toothes.

The Mekong Delta has lots of issues with regard to China damming the River upstream and also Thailand having a go at it.  Sounds very similar to the Muarry Darling Basin issues between QLD, NSW, VIC and SA back home.  Anyway, the river hasn't flooded for 20 years so there are big issues around lack of soil fertility and erosion.  Not to mention the possibility of the salt water flooding in if sea levels rise dramatically in the future.  It's amazing....... all that water, but there seems never to be enough no matter where you are on the planet. 

For more travel stories go here.

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