03.02.2009 90 °F
So we woke up about 545, well really about 4 when the roosters started cock a doodle dooing, caught a beautiful river sunrise, had a quick, and mercifully light, breakfast then hopped on a small wooden boat to check out the floating market.
There are about 6 of these sactterd throughout the delta. Basically, families with farms in the delta load their harvest onto boats and travel to these markets, living on their boats while on the river. Some markets are wholesale, people come to buy a bunch and seel it on land and others are for individual purchases. Ours was a wholesale one and was fascintaing. They only sell fruits and vegetables, and boats put samples of what they are selling on a tall pole so people can find what they need. Most sold only one or two items but a few sold almost ten. We didn't spend much time there but it was truly a great experience. Not another tourist in sight and no one trying to sell us stuff. We saw local transactions going down and then headed for the land market at Tra On to put our Vietnamese skills to the test trying to buy items we needed for our lunch. The market was amazing, we saw the fruits and veggies first and had as delicious pineapple cut up before our eyes. My favorite section was the meats where I got to play my favorite market game of "guess the animal part" The meat section had every organ you could want (brain to bull's testicles) with beautiful cuts of meat. Each table put the head of the animal (pig or cow) on display as well. Certainly more than ornamental as I am sire this is eaten as well. Quite a sight and I will post pics soon I hope. I would maybe recommend that they clean the animal's head off, but who am I to tell these beautiful and amazing people what to do with their livestock. Chin, by the way, also was on the Vietnamese power walking team, as he sped through the market with us wandering somewhere behind.
We got our groceries and some flowers for our host lady, headed back to make spring rolls (both the guide and the lady of our home commented on how excellent my rolling technique was) and stuffed ourselves with food. The couple would constantly keep pur plates full even if we shook our head no. All delicious and totally stuffed.
We sadly said goodbye to our host family and the German couple who were travelling on the Can Tho, crossed the river and got a car back to Saigon. An amazing trip...