Map Pointing

I am sitting in the front seat of a “Car” with Toan, my driver working our way out of Saigon on my first full day in Vietnam after a frenzied morning of hitting the top sites and experience Saigon.

The Delta Mission, Agenda, Plan or maybe best said the as the Wish:

  • Drive from Saigon to My Tho (3 hour drive down highway 1) My Tho is considered the gat way to the Mekong Delta
  • Hire a boat to get my first exposure to the rivers and islands from so many movie
  • Back in the car drive from My Tho to Can Tho City (4 hours much deeper into the delta and hopefully away from the tourist in search of a more real Vietnam)
  • Find a hotel in Can Tho
  • Next day – Hire a boat to take me up the Megong Rive to Cai Rang and Phong Dien to see the floating markets and the river
  • Drive from Can Tho to Cu Chi (5 hours)
  • Tour the tunnels at Cu Chi before driving back to Saigon and securing an overnight train ticket

Just wish I the driver could read this… point at a map works too, correct?

Sadly my first impressions of the Mekong Delta region was that I missed it by about 10 or 15 years!  Even though I was not on a tour, I felt like I was following the path of every other visitor to region and it was all staged.  I did have a little luck on my side.  First by going in the afternoon I missed all the crowds of actual tours (typical they come from the city first thing in the AM, as I had originally planned and the books suggest). Second the just finished a new connection road 6 months ago that cut off an hour of the trip and last it was high tide, the best time to be on the water.

Finding a hotel in Can Tho, the largest city in the Mekong Delta and an old US base of operation was not as simple as I thought it would be.  Long story short, I checked into an  $18 a night hotel.  Asked the woman at the front desk for help in hire a boat to satisfy the agenda above via a little more map pointing.  She made a few calls and finally said ”$30 dollars 5:30 tomorrow morning”.  God only know what I am in for.  Finally at around 9 or 10 my driver and I headed out to find dinner (grilled squid, octopus, and shrimp including the head, skin and tail – all simply great at $11 for the two of us) and what turned into a few to many Tiger Beer’s at .50 cents each they went down to easy! Did I forget to say I needed my iPod to see the lock to my room, the hallway light were turned out for the night.

About JSH

There are more than 195 countries in the world by my count and I want to see them all before they all start to look the same – The United Nations has 192 members, but they do not recognized two independent countries, the Vatican City and Kosovo. U.S. Department of State recognizes 194 independent countries around the world, but their list has a political agenda and is missing Taiwan. All of this is without getting into the dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes called “countries” such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England) and without counting states and provinces like Texas and Montréal that think they are independent countries. No madder how you count or tag them they are changing, starting to look the same and losing a little bit of themself every day. I do not want to see the world through the eyes of Las Vegas or Disney, like reading the Cliff Notes of a Hemingway novel; you get the idea but miss the point! Life is short, but how long live is up to you…
This entry was posted in Travel, Uncategorized, Vietnam. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Map Pointing

  1. Alice says:

    And you wonder why I am not with you? I like the wine in Italy better!!!

  2. Sue says:

    I love traveling virtually!

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