Sa Đéc – Cai Be, Vietnam

Feb 22, 2019 - The Jahan

Our last full day on the Mekong River began with a cruise around Bình Thạnh Island at Sa Đéc by longboat. We happened across numerous fishing farms and the bustling morning activities that made up this segment of the Mekong. A bit later, we arrived at a small local community and wandered around, getting a firsthand look at Vietnamese life and culture.

In the community we watched local village artisans constructing rattan mats using traditional methods known to date back entire centuries.  We made our way further through the village to reach the local community center, where we had a delightful exchange with two of the village elders. We listened to their stories and asked many questions. Hearing a firsthand account of life in this region of Vietnam was as much a privilege as it was instructive.

After lunch on Jahan, we again set out on the local longboats—“sampans”—to the floating market of Cai Be. We cruised beside local boat merchants busy with selling their fruits and vegetables. We also passed a gothic French-style cathedral on our way to a home workshop at Phú An. Here we were shown how this locally owned business makes ricer paper, pop rice snacks, coconut candy, as well as rice alcohol. It was also an opportunity to purchase a few items at the shop.

Back aboard Jahan, we celebrated and recounted the charm of this way of life and the experiences we were part of with a farewell gathering of dinner, cocktails, and a slideshow featuring a selection of images from guests and staff.

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About the Author

Martin Cohen


Martin grew up in Melbourne playing cricket and Australian Rules football. While growing up, and to his parents’ dismay, Martin brought home and kept a menagerie of wildlife including frogs, lizards, turtles, and even poisonous snakes!

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