Monday, September 08, 2014

Visiting Cai Be and Sa Dec Vietnam

Our day starts early as has every day so far, at just after 7am, time to get ourselves ready for our usual big beautiful breakfast before meeting in the lounge at 8.30am put on our lifejackets and board the tender for our trip to Cai Be a small city on the Mekong River where the market is a floating one on a small side shoot of the river. Lots of boats are on the water to sell their wares and they do so by advertising what they are selling by hanging samples of their fruit or vegetables on the end of a long poles and customers use boats to come our and buy from them.
We sail through the edge of this market and land right beside a Gothic Cathedral, all rather colourful and interesting.

Next we we visit a family business where Coconut candy is made. It is very hot inside because there are very hot little furnaces going to cook the candy, it requires high heat and must be stirred frequently. Smells lovely and we can't wait to try some of the goodies. We watch girls handling the freshly made coconut toffee/caramel which is now set is soft blocks, it is cut up into tiny pieces and the girls wrap it so quickly. We have a try but are not very successful.. Then we are served with  green tea and ginger pieces and ofcause coconut candy. Yum it is lovely smooth and sweet. But I decide to buy the ginger Jam pieces, mainly because my tummy is a bit upset and I am sure the ginger will help settle it.
The men then take us aside and show us their special Snake Bite Whisky, it looks revolting with a snake floating in the bottle, The men all try it and survive so the ladies also had a try..... its very strong rough liquor but it goes down ok.
Time to head back to the ship for lunch on the small boat tenders. After a nice lunch we are off again in the small boat, this time we head for Sa Dec this time we visit a brick works, it has been on the same site for many years, decade I would say as there are 2 or 3 old now unused kilns. The kiln are heated by rice husks that are shovelled in through a tiny opening, they burn fiercely and cook the clay bricks and tiles. The burnt remains are dumped beside the river where it will be swept away the next flood.

We watch ladies dragging hand carts full of heavy wet clay tiles to load into the kiln they do so very easily so I had a try lifting 3 at a time like they do and my fingers could not hold the tiles let alone lift them on to the conveyer belt into the kiln. Very hard working women.
Back on the small boat again and we head to Sadec town where there is a huge local market going, selling all the usual fruit and vege and also frog, rats, chicken,snakes, fish of all kinds and sizes.

 In front of us the sell skinned the frog alive, much to our distress and hacked the fish to pieces while still alive, all this offended us greatly and we moved quickly on only to watch chickens having their throats hacked open and left to die in a drum! Such cruelty didn't go down too well with us, but it is their way so just walk away.

This market is in a narrow street still used by cars and scooters as well as all the on foot shoppers and us, it was quite a dangerous place to wander, had to keep your eyes and ears open or you would be mowed down.

We are on route to a special old house that was used to make a movie called the Lovers a true story of the area, a French girl and a high ranking local prince that ofcause was ill fated, very nice well kept old home.
One of the others took my photo in the doorway.

Still we are on the move, next it is to Cao Dai Temple a sacred site for the Vietnamese people. By now we are all tired and hot and bothered, it has been threatening to rain all day but no rain fell, it was just oppressively hot. It was pleasant to be inside the very interesting.Temple

It is still not the end of this busy day, we head back to the ship and prepare for Cocktails hour and a briefing from our tour manager, before dinner on board ship while listening to a talented pianist playing all kinds of music for us. Before finally its time to fall into bed. No worries about whether we sleep or not!

1 comment:

Roan said...

Love those colorful buildings and the church. Looks like you are having fun!