This morning our cruise took us to Cai Be and its colourful local floating market. We passed the city’s beautiful French gothic cathedral then toured the historic An Kiet House with its beautiful surrounding gardens. .
We strolled alongside the waterway taking in the scenery and meeting the people.
We visited local businesses where the women were hard at work making coconut candy, rice treats while the babies slept peacefully in their hammocks. We had the pleasure of tasting a variety of typical Vietnamese sweets, popped rice and jasmine tea. The brave ones sampled snake wine. After an interesting visit we headed back to the ship for lunch.
Life on the river is bustling, fishermen our casting nets from their boats and various sizes of boats carrying all types of cargo.
This afternoon we took a sampan boat excursion to SaDec to observe daily routines of the villagers, We visited the home of Mr. Hyun Thuy Le, who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel, L’Amant (The Lover) . The ornate table is used for family dining, the food goes in the middle and the family sits on the top around the food. We were treated to delicious cup of lotus flower tea and candied ginger. The In the evening the table transforms into a bed.
We continued our tour with a fascinating walk through the town’s market experiencing the sights and smells of the colorful fresh produce, meat, live fish, and seafood being sold. The locals drive their scooters, bicycles and motorcycles up to the individual stalls to pickup their food items then continue on to the next one. The locals are friendly and many greet us with a smile and hello. Especially the children.
Continuing our tour we visit a two different temples, a Taoist pagoda then Cao Daism invented in the 1920’s and has prophets who range from Buddha , Jesus, Joan of Arc and Victor Hugo.