Wed 7. Vi Thanh to Can Tho, 55km
Up at the crack of dawn and munch on a couple of fresh, crusty bread pork rolls as I ride out of town. It was a very nice stretch of road with the river on one side and houses on the other.
I passed some industry, rice being bagged and loaded onto a barge and stopped for a look. One chap was very excited to see me and encouraged me to take lots of photos from various angles. A little patronising, perhaps but I went with it. At the end of the 2 minute ‘tour’ he held his hand, “money!” I explained that it taints the experience if he acts all friendly at first only to then demand cash compensation with a stern look. I knew he didn’t speak any English but was using the time to organise a koala sticker and a signature on a novelty $50 note for him. He looked disappointed and motioned he would tear it up. I said that it was up to him what he did with it but that perhaps he might like to keep it as a souvenir, or give it to a child and I smiled as I waved goodbye and carried on down the road.
My next stop was filled with far more laughter, a primary school at recess and a chance to pull funny faces and ask simple questions in English. I would have been mobbed if not for the wire fencing separating us. Excitable children curious about the stranger.
By this stage I had left the road and was riding along a path next to the river. They are found along the banks of stretches of river and canals and while the quality of the surface varies (greatly), it’s well worth exploring and is something not many foreigners experience if the number of gasps, oohs and ahs from the locals is anything to go by.
Can Tho is the biggest city of the Mekong Delta. I found a great hotel for under $10 a night and did some site-seeing in the afternoon, the Chinese temple a highlight. The spirals in the photos below are incense rings which, I thought to myself must burn for a very long time.
In the evening I joined a trip advisor recommend activity, a walking food tour. It was excellent, the guide was fun and knowledgeable and the food delicious. Even the fried field mouse.