We took a 4 hour bus (for $6) from Ho Chi Min City to Can Tho and then a taxi to Hung’s Homestay. We stayed in little bamboo cabins that hang over the river.
A very smiley 5 year old boy was eager to make friends – we played cards out on the deck. He didn’t know any English, so I don’t know much about him, but after I told him that Kailee was my baby, he walked around pointing at her and calling her ‘BAYbee’ all the time. She didn’t find it as charming as I did.
Hung lives with his wife and sons and an extended family that I couldn’t quite keep track of. They all help run the place and the kids run around the common area playing with any guests willing to entertain them.
Our first morning on the river, we got up at 5:30 am!! On vacation!!! Not an Eeckhoudt thing to do… but totally worth it. We had coffee and bread on the boat on our way to the Cai Rang floating market. We were mostly observers of the trading going on between boats that had come from all over the region. Many of the boats carried fruits and vegetables, but there was also sugar cane and lottery tickets to be found.
We visited a rice noodle making operation, a seedling farm, a watermelon and rice farm, and a rice processing plant. In the afternoon, we walked through a nearby neighborhood, stopping in a home to watch some women make a sleeping mat. The people in this village are very poor and use all the resources around them – nothing gets wasted. Amazing to see how much an be done with so little. We learned a ton about rice and life in rural Mekong Delta.
We loved our time there. Hung was very interested in showing us his village and explaining his culture. I know he does it constantly, but he has a passion for it that really keeps it fresh. I also appreciated the variety of food that was served to us and the welcoming hospitality of his entire family.
Next up: Flying to Hanoi. Can Tho has a brand-spanking new airport. It’s a little freaky to show up at an airport that is basically deserted and the control tower isn’t finished yet. We had a sometimes stomach-dropping, bumpy ride that made me the most nervous I have ever been on a plane. But the landing was perfect. Must’ve just been the clouds.