Fri 9, Soc Trang to Tra Vinh, 66km
Sat 10, Tra Vinh to Vinh Long, 67km
I don’t have much choice but to cycle on major roads. Pleasant enough though with good surfaces, well-behaved road users and interesting things to see as I ride. It’s relaxed here on the Mekong Delta.
Religion seems to be doing ok. Both the Cambodian/Khmer Buddhist temple and the Catholic Church in the photos below had been newly built.
A couple of Mekong river crossings which involved waiting for and then piling on (then off) a flatbed barge. This would be the closest I get to the mouth of the river and the South China Sea.
Have some initial trouble finding a hotel in Tra Vinh but a friendly boy on a bike offers to show me and leads the way to the Gia Hoa 2.
Spend the first half of the ride on the major road between Tra Vinh and Vinh Long but then take a small detour to ride a minor road where I find a dragon fruit farm, and many brick kilns.
I’d been meaning to take a photo of a wedding reception for quite a while having passed many in Cambodia and Vietnam in the last month. The setup seemed to be the same in both countries. Put a big pink gazebo roadside, hire the loudest speaker system in the province for karaoke, and invite as many people as you can to eat and drink all day.
I found one about 10km to go and stopped to take a couple of photos from the far side of the road. Immediately spotted, I was welcomed across the road and into the tent. Within seconds I had a glass of ice and beer in one hand and a chicken drumstick in the other. A few ‘cheers’, more chicken, prawns and crab, and a session of sticker giving with the children followed. I had in my hand the most expensive gift I had with me, a handmade boomerang. I had been waiting for the perfect opportunity and this was it! I was trying to communicate that I’d like to give it to the bride and groom to wish them well on their future life together, but the language gap was too large. A couple of minutes later I was politely told by a stern looking gentleman that it might be best if I leave, ushering me in front of sheepish, almost embarrassed looking guests that clearly wanted to be amused by me a little longer. The day wasn’t for them, or me though, and so we waved goodbye and I was on my way again. A 30 minute break, tops.
I’m now in Vinh Long, and am spending today, Sunday, resting.