Caibe and Sadec

Mar 11, 2018 - The Jahan

This morning, a hardcore group of 15 to 20 enthusiasts participate in the first Tai Chi class.What a great turnout!

After breakfast we embarked on small boats, or sampans, for our visit of the lively floating market of Cai Be.The boats in the floating market place a certain vegetable or fruit product on a pole to advertise to the local population what they are selling.We passed the prominent Roman Catholic church on the way to the hamlet of Phu An and make a stop to visit a small business which produces various rice products like popped rice candy, rice paste to make “rice paper” used in salad rolls and of course, rice wine, which can be flavored by herbs, fruits or even a cobra or a scorpion. We’re told that the latter is for medicinal purposes, of course…

After we return to Jahan, our photography instructor, Eric Kruszewski, gives photography pointers to a well-attended presentation.

After lunch on Jahan, we take a 40 minute boat ride through narrow channels to explore Binh Thanh Island at Sadec. On the way, we see fascinating views of river life and it serves as a wonderful experience to understand the Vietnamese way of life and culture. When we get to shore, where we meet a pair of charming seniors at the local temple. The man and woman tell as their life stories and hardships as well as details about the community. The island has a kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school, but students will have to leave Binh Thanh Island if they want to attend high school. Most villagers, as far as we can see, are occupied with the weaving of sage grass mats, which involves two people. Sage grass has a very distinct fragrant smell. Some of our group try to weave the mats.  Yikes – slow motion.

We returned to Jahan at round 5:00 p.m., have a recap and briefing, and then a Vietnamese style dinner, followed by an old well-reviewed movie entitled “The Quiet American” based on Graham Greene’s novel – starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser.

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About the Author

Barry Till

National Geographic Staff

Barry Till is a curator of Asian art with a wide knowledge on culture, history and archaeology. He has travelled extensively throughout Asia and lectured on numerous expeditions—including trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar—for more than thirty years. He has published more than 100 catalogues (including The Buddhist Arts of Asia), books, and articles on various Asian art topics, and is an enthusiastic and engaging speaker.

About the Videographer

Eric Kruszewski

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

An editorial photographer and videographer based in Washington, D.C., Eric Kruszewski's multimedia work focuses on reportage and travel. His work is represented by National Geographic Creative, and he is a regular contributor to National Geographic's Image Collection.

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