Thursday, February 2, 2017


                                                                      (off we go)

Can Tho is the fourth largest city in Vietnam ( ~ 1.5 million, but how would anyone know) and the population centre of the Mekong delta. The very word Mekong still evokes a visceral reaction inside me.

The 170km trip by road takes about 4 hours, and if you, like me, were wondering where Veitnam's 80 million are, I can now tell you. They're driving up and down the highway, part tollway, connecting Saigon to Can Tho. It is lunar New Year remember.

Through Saigon's vast outer districts we start to slip past endless green fields and rice paddies not infrequently dotted with brightly painted tombs sitting alone or in clusters, past shanties, small towns, street stalls, endless repeating rest stops of plastic chairs and hammocks deep in shade and hard to see for rows of parked motor scooters, some fast driving interrupted by traffic jams where everything slows down to lurching along a highway that is one huge clutter of cars, buses, scooters, more scooters and then, more scooters. It's life on the move and the movement is endless. Yet it works, almost seamlessly.

We're completely new here, and the strongest feeling I get is that of respect. A necessary respect possibly, but nonetheless the respect of sharing equally and the respect for the other. How else could this apparently minimally regulated humanity not simply collide itself to a halt.

Canals and waterways become more frequent 

and finally we're climbing the impressive cable Can Tho bridge (a construction collapse had a 50 plus death toll) over the river Hua, the Mekong's major tributary on which Can Tho sits. It's a thing to stop at the apex for a chat and some photos. 

Can Tho is of course also in the throws of Happy New Year and we're booked into the charming little Nam Bo hotel overlooking the river ...

.... from whose roof garden (roof gardens are a thing) there he is again.

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