Chau Doc & Bassac River

Dec 26, 2019 - The Jahan


We began the morning at sunrise boarding longboats to visit merchants selling various vegetables and supplies in a floating market near Chau Doc. After cruising past the floating markets, we visited a family-run floating fish farm, where families build houses above large fish pens raising basa (Vietnamese catfish) and tilapia trapped in large cages below their house. After visiting the fish farms, we went into the Chau Doc market and rode on the famous trishaw, the Vietnamese version of a cyclo. The market was a maze of fresh meat, fish parts, colorful clothing, and fruits and vegetables. It was a busy morning and we will made it back to Jahan for breakfast.

After breakfast, Jahan cruised deep into the Vietnam Delta up the Bassac River, a northern branch of the mighty Mekong. While cruising, Eza King gave a short overview on rice production in the Mekong Delta, the largest export crop from the area. Guests then had lunch in Viceroy Dining Hall and we continued our voyage on the upper Mekong Delta observing the hundreds of busy barges hauling rice and dredging the river bottom sand for export to places like Singapore and Malaysia.

In the late afternoon we landed at the hamlet. My An Hung, on Mr. Lam’s family farm. We walked through the family fields of chili peppers and vegetable crops. Guests were treated to traditional Vietnamese music sung by Mr. Lam’s family musicians. As a treat, kitchen staff from the Jahan presented a wonderful sampling of fresh fruit found in the region. We gorged ourselves with jack fruit, lychee, mango, apple, rambutan, and many others that impressed our taste buds. Guests then walked through the village, accepting warm greetings from villagers and enthusiastic students anxious to practice speaking English as part of their studies. Some guests even tested their balance and bravery on the famous “monkey bridge” before coming back to the ship to set sail for the delta at sunset.

The evening finished in style with a wonderful dinner on Jahan followed by a showing of the outstanding feature film The Quiet American based on Graham Green’s novel set in Saigon.

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Patrick MacQuarrie

Patrick MacQuarrie

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