We met Bao in the breakfast area of our hotel early in the morning and hopped in the van and headed to the Mekong Delta to start our day. En route, we stopped in My Tho to visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda. It was absolutely was gorgeous–I’ve never seen anything quite like it before and was absolutely awestruck. We had plenty of time to walk around the pagoda, hear a bit about the history from Bao and shoot some pictures. If you are anywhere near My Tho, I absolutely recommend paying this Pagoda a visit!
After leaving My Tho, we continued to the docks near Can Tho and took a boat ride to Unicorn Island. While on the island, we saw a coconut candy workshop, a honey bee farm, enjoyed some local fruits and tea, some traditional Southern Vietnamese singing and took a sampan ride on the creek (which seemed right out of a movie to me).
Afterwards, we proceeded to another island for yet another amazing lunch: Deep fried elephant ear fish (made in to spring rolls in front of us), shrimp steamed in coconut milk, crispy rice with fish cake (wayyy better than the Korean fishcake), slow cooker pork ribs, stir fried pak choy (or something in the choy family) with garlic, duong chau fried rice and fresh fruit for dessert! Some of the best food and views I’d had–and I really started to feel spoiled!
After we finished there, we headed to downtown Can Tho for the night. We arrived at the hotel at about 3:30 and I was impressed with my room (again) and the location of the hotel. A good friend of mine (from my time studying in England) picked me up on her scooter at and took me out for the evening. She showed me her university (2 campuses out of 4 in Can Tho), we went for a drink (I had a soursop smoothie), then dinner (where she showed me some of the other amazing food Vietnam has to offer), and finally to the Iris Sky Bar for a drink and to look out over Can Tho. It was really refreshing getting to speak with another person from my Intercultural Communication cohort–she is a really great person, with very keen insights and chooses to see the best in people–I look forward to us meeting again!
Needless to say, I got to bed late that night and wasn’t quite awake when we headed out to the Cai Rang Floating Markets at 7:30am the next day. It was very cool to get to see the markets in action–we even tried some of the pineappleseapple, and it was honestly the best I’ve ever tasted!
Once we finished puttering around the market, we went to a ‘botanical garden’ and sampled some of the local brew and ate some fresh grilled snake and frog!
Once we got back on land, we boarded the van and headed off to Chao Doc for the night. We arrived at the hotel in the late afternoon and had a quick break before meeting back up with Bao to drive up Sam Mountain and watch the sunset. It was a very steep hill and Bao said that many of the locals would climb the mountain every morning and evening for exercise–that’s a hell of a LOT of exercise!
Once the sun went down, we headed back to the hotel (which was again lovely) and grabbed a shower before meeting Bao for dinner. We took a short ride around the city (in something similar to a Tuk Tuk but with a bicycle instead of motorbike) and then landed at our restaurant for the evening.
We had a couple of beers, some snails, a seafood hot pot (awesome) and 2 kinds of rat! To be honest, the rat was kinda good(tasted kinda like duck)–not something I ever thought I would eat OR enjoy!
After dinner, we parted ways–a little sad that we’d be saying goodbye to Bao and Vietnam in the morning. Bao’s company was fantastic and we all knew that we’d shed a faux tear when we parted the next morning.
………Our next adventure: Cambodia!
Traveling to Vietnam with your family? Check out this post via Thrifty Family Travels for some great tips!