Last moment at Pham-Ngu-Lao(backpacker’s den, pronounced Palm-Woo-Lao),I buy a Kg of Kidney mango(smaller than ordinary mango and less sweet) at 20,000 dong a kg.
No 4 bus from a bus stop near my backpacker takes me to Saigon’s Mien Tay bus terminal. Look at the traffic ahead, it is like matches in a box thrown to a street.
Kim-Kim-May minivan runs to Chau-Doc for 100,000 dong to make 6 hours trip.
This is a basket of freshly baked baguette to be shipped on a bus. Smells really yum.
Damn, this old Mercedes mini van dies on the way, and passengers are transfered to another older van after the driver fails to deliver an hour’s CPR to the van.
We are now in the vicinity of Mekong delta, cars are rolled on the ferry for the river crossing that is about 500m wide .
In Chau Doc, I get a fantastic hotel deal. This clean, queen-bedded room with en-suite shower and a balcony costs mere US$7 a night. Price is agreed at $7 from $8 with a condition that I don’t use the air-conditioner.
The local market is just around corner from my hotel, what a location.
Within a minute walk, out of my hotel room, I get this Jack-fruit pudding for 5,000 dong(25 US cents). Jolly good starter.
Less than 10 steps from the pudding stall, a ice-jelly thingy goes for 20,000 dong. Could be easier for a sparrow turning away from a rice mill.
Too much desserts I am through before the main meal, but this is the life in Mekong Delta I suppose. Don’t try to calculate the calories in this dish.
Next morning, the view from the hotel room balcony. Oh, day’s gonna be fine.
Grabbing a couple of banana-sticky rice and walking down to river front.
Here, the vendor makes a mean coffee from a pre-phin-brewed glass. Extremely dark roasted robusta bean with a bit of charcoal flavour served with condensed milk is a dosage for a fine day like this. Not the best coffee but very unique and decent. Price? only 15,000 dong.
River side looks promising so I rent a bicycle for visiting a couple of interesting places in the vicinity of Chau Doc.
This muddy water is home to the local fish that brings prosperity to this town.