Craig Writes: A 7.30am start for our two hour drive to LonGan, the first province in the Mekong Delta. Here we catch our private boat for a four hour trip up the Mekong River. Our destination is Vinh Long, third province and the destination for our home-stay. There were to be various stops along the way. This trip reinforced my understanding of how ingenious these people are. They use every opportunity Mother Nature gives them to feed, house and protect themselves. There isn't a pond, a stream or a lake that doesn't have fish in it. Outside of the Mekong Delta, catfish is the preferred fish of choice. In the Mekong Delta, it's Elephant Ear fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If they don't have a pond to farm a fish they'll dig one in from the nearest source of water. If there's a bit of land they'll plant something on it, rice, bananas, guava, something.
|Life by the Mekong|
|Life in the Mekong|
|Water Hyacinth; hand bags just waiting to be made|
|Super heated black sand|
|From boring rice to poprice|
|The finished product with some sweet, sweet tea|
And what candy store isn't complete without a 10 foot python. Of course you can't walk pass the opportunity when the friendly candy man offers to drape it over your shoulders. Callum went first, tentative, but he did it. Good on ya buddy. When they drape the monster over your shoulders the first thing you realise is how heavy it is. As soon as it lands on you you can feel the first gentle squeeze as it starts to slither and wind itself around your body. You certainly get the impression its feeling you out, positioning itself in case you make to sudden a move. It gave my leg a pretty friendly squeeze. Just enough to give you a bit of an idea of what it could do if it wanted to.
|40 proof snake wine, it's got real bite. (sorry)|
|This looks one small squeeze away from a curtain call|
|Careful fella, that's my ticklish spot|
|Charlie prefers his snake a little off the shoulder|
Further up the river it was into a tropical fruit farm for a tasting of Jack fruit, plums (best eaten with chilli salt) tiny bananas the size of your thumb and as sweet as honey, guava, watermelon and papaya . The locals put on a little show here. Three musos and three singers. It wasn't Vegas but they put everything into it. Acting out their roles of the farmer lamenting the late arrival of his tardy wife with his lunch or the two young lovers hunting for crabs and fish. They went for it like it was Simon Cowell sitting in front of them, not just four anonymous tourists from down under. I thought they were brilliant.
|Apologises for this, it's off.|
|Elephant Ear fish, very tasty|
|Oh, how we laughed|
|Bedrock Brick Kilns|
|He's there to stop the chooks eating the furnace fuel|
|Thanks for the tour people|