In September 2010 I went back to Australia for a while after spending months travelling in the US, Europe and Asia. My return was to catch up with family and friends, do some travel there and a few months of contract work to boost the coffers, then I had planned to move to the US. But with the economy still in the gutter I thought, what the hell, I am going to Vietnam and Laos for 2 months (via Singapore)! So I put the relocation off for a while and headed to S.E. Asia.
I wrote a number of travel emails from that trip and I thought it would be fun to revisit them with some additional info and photos. The following blog is Part 11 of that journey (South Vietnam), which is sadly the last part of my Vietnam jaunt…..revisiting this trip makes me want to hit the road again….Canada here I come!
December 4th, 2010
I have just spent 2 days on a tour of the Mekong Delta. A Great trip involving firstly a bus, but then various river boats and row boats through the delta waterways. Passing by stilt villages and travelling along natural canals near the towns of My Tho and Ben Tre. In My Tho a stop was made at a beautiful temple with 2 massive buddha statues – one the chubby variety and the other the more godly looking one.
After all the fun on the waterways it was time to spend the night in Can Tho City . The next day was an early morning river trip to see the amazing floating markets in Cai Rang and Phong Dien.
Back in Can Tho I decided to celebrate my birthday with an unusual feast…fried rat with onions! Also on the next day I had a dish of snake and a sampling of toad! Rat, although daunting to try was quite tasty (despite all the advice from fellow travellers to not eat it) – kind of like quail and equally boney! The beauty of rat is you get 4 drum sticks (albeit very small ones)!
Snake is hard to describe (still had the scaly skin on), kind of a cross between chicken and pork? Toad is like frog, which tastes like chicken. I can advise though not to eat the very end of the tail of the snake – very boney and unappealing! The restaurant had live snakes and toads in glass cases…dont want to know where the rat came from??! I am always up for “exotic” foods and tales of what I eat thoroughly entertains my little niece and nephew so I am always happy to oblige!
Now I am back in Ho Chi Minh City for a couple of nights (Mekong Delta was so peaceful, shame to be back in a busy city). I fly back to Melbourne in Australia soon (after half a day in Singapore). In an earlier post I mentioned that I went to a military museum in HCMC that had one of the original Communist T-55 tanks that burst through the gates of the then Presidential Palace in Saigon in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War, but it was closed, so on my return to HCMC I went back there and this time it was open. Had some very interesting displays so I am glad I came back.
I also visited the Ho Chi Minh City History Museum which had many interesting displays from the French Indochina colonial period to modern-day Vietnam. In the grounds they had numerous military tanks and aircraft including a South Vietnamese F-5 Freedom Fighter which was used by a rebel pilot to bomb the Presidential Palace in 1975.
So that’s it folks…….almost time to say goodbye rather than good morning to Vietnam. 😦