Plenty to do in Mekong delta, Chau Doc, Vietnam

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.

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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.

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Kim-Kim-May minivan runs to Chau-Doc for 100,000 dong to make 6 hours trip.

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This is a basket of freshly baked baguette to be shipped on a bus. Smells really yum.

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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.

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We are now in the vicinity of Mekong delta, cars are rolled on the ferry for the river crossing that is about 500m wide .

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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.

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The local market is just around corner from my hotel, what a location.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Next morning, the view from the hotel room balcony. Oh, day’s gonna be fine.

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Grabbing a couple of banana-sticky rice and walking down to river front.

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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.

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River side looks promising so I rent a bicycle for visiting a couple of interesting places in the vicinity of Chau Doc.

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This muddy water is home to the local fish that brings prosperity to this town.

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