Can Tho

Cần Thơ, the name comes from "cầm thi giang" - river of poems - is , regarded as "Western capital", with an population of 1,121,000 and it is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta. The city is located on the south bank of the Hậu River, the biggest branch of the Mekong River. It is 169 km from Saigon by road, via the new bridge, one of the largest in Asia.

Cai Rang Floating Market, about 6km from Can Tho City, is the most famous and biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta. And indeed this is to whence we went. From the early morning, the waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with fruits, vegetables, plants, foods, etc... Sellers hang a sample of what they have from the top of a long pole so that buyers can see from a distance what they are selling.

We visited a fairly mediocre fruit farm on the way back to the ship. Then it was up anchors and away

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge

Leaving Saigon, the customary "bribes" were paid to local officials to expedite matters. We exited the Saigon River in a vicious choppy sea and rolled badly all night until we turned away from the sea again and headed up the Mekong itself
The little green men again climbed aboard Orion, while we passengers climbed off Orion and onto local boats in order to visit the floating market
The river traffic and river banks on the 6 km haul up the tributary of the Mekong in search of the Floating Market were both colourful. Even had a floating petrol station
As we neared the Floating Market, the river traffic became denser, and entrepreneurs started to approach our craft in order to try to sell us cold drinks or fruit.
As we got in among the boats of the floating market, the waterborne village became easier to make out. And indeed each craft was specialised in selling melons, potatoes
or whatever else was in season. Tourism has not altered this market, and they got on with their lives, ignoring us as we weaved in and out of their homes
Then back along a side canal to a fruit farm - not a good idea. These places built solely as tourist stops are rarely a good idea, but tourists apparently need be entertained.
Then a run downstream to Orion, past Vietnamese ladies cycling and hens strutting on ships. After returning to Orion we headed back down the Mekong to the open sea

 

On to Phu Quoc

Cruise Hanoi to Singapore on Orion II