Jan 27, 2019 - The Jahan
It was with great excitement and anticipation that we were greeted by our first Mekong River sunrise near the town of Cai Be. This region is an important fruit and vegetable hub of the Mekong Delta, so after breakfast we boarded local long boats and cruised past the local floating markets as well as the French gothic cathedral on the way to the hamlet of Phu An.
We docked alongside a few shops and one of our local guides took us through one of the local family-owned businesses. This fascinating business makes a range of commercial products based on rice and coconut including candy, snacks, rice paper, and even strong spirits.
After lunch and the heat of the day we again ventured out on the longboats and cruised around Binh Thanh Island. At close range we witnessed the comings and goings on water revolving around the rice and fish industries. The waterways were bustling and full with boats of all sizes, some of which being so full of sediment from dredging, or rice, or husks of rice that one could not help but feel uneasy as they passed. Occasionally there would be ferries would cross rapidly in front of us, loaded with cars and scooters, and others transporting great loads of live fish. Needless to say how critical the waterways are in this area.
After cruising for a while, we finally docked and were guided around the small village. Here we were privileged to meet village elders at the community temple. We listened to remarkable stories, asked questions, and learned more about life in rural Vietnam. We made a quick cruise back to Jahan and watched the sun lower over the Mekong River with refreshments in hand as another wonderful day in Vietnam ended.
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