Sunday, July 11, 2010

Floating Market at MY KHANH

I was going to sub-title this entry part
2, but I changed my mind.
Leaving the Tien river and on to Can Tho was a visual gourmet buffet, for roughly 4 hours we traveled south on route 1, through small towns and sporadic open spaces of rice patties I remember traveling on the back of troop transport's from point "A" to point "B". Back then there was an endless expanse of rice paddies with farmer's working their field's with the ever present water buffalo towing the plow. Now for the most part the rice patties have been replaced by industrial complexes and highway improvement project's. There are wire fences every where, but the ubiquitous water buffalo, remain, but unfortunately not as abundant as in the past. The faces of the working people remain the same, what is obviously missing are the hoards of children following the trucks, begging for candy, gum, chocolate, anything the compassionate GI had at hand to throw out to the open hands. What was quite obvious were the stacks of red bricks seen everywhere, small piles, large piles, brick laying projects in progress, and beautifully finished homes and walls constructed of those same bricks. Collectively we managed to coax the driver and tour guide to stop at a small family run brick manufacturing establishment, to observe the process, although no production was in progress, we toured the small complex, fascinating.

I think I'm getting too caught up in the moment, so I'll cut to the chase. We made it to the city of MY KHANH, still on one of the tributaries of the Mekong Delta. Checked into the hotel,(Nice place) showered, all met for dinner at a posh restaurant right at rivers edge, and chilled out enjoying the scenery and libations. Tired, travel weary, and just plain exhausted we were informed that for those who were interested, there was a 5:45am pick-up to visit the floating market at Cai Rang, a 40min. boat ride from the hotel. I'm up! Brian and I were up until 2:30am writing and discussing the days events, by the time we hit the sack it was 3:45am. He decided to opt out of the trip, so 5:15am rolls around, I'm up (groggy as hell), but ready to rock and roll.
Sara, David, Eduardo, Mike and a few other brave souls made it to the hotel lobby,(coffeeeeee).
Though it was still dark the boat ride was fantastic, we road a skiff that carried roughly 15 to 20 passengers on a good day, today there were 8 of us. The morning air was brisk, and refreshing, in contrast to the stifling heat and humidity we've been dealing with since we got here. As we approached the designated rallying point of boat'dom ( I just created a new word! kool), there were boats every where, caring everything imaginable in the produce section jockeying for position. It was cool to see stuff from a distance, but I wanted to see real stuff up close and personal, so Ali made a stance and respectfully asked that we be allowed to visit the shore farmers market, where only locals are allowed, meaning (NO TOURISTS ALLOWED!!, and that means YOU!!) When we disembarked at a makeshift wharf, expensive camera gear in hand, the locals looked at us as if, what the h____ are you doing here. Quickey we spanned out, Mike and I trolled the area for good PIX op's and were rewarded very time we turned our head. Live product, fish, shellfish, pork meat, bread, produce, baby ducklings for soup, you name it. Remember every thing here is fit for consumption. (EVERY THING). At days end, we collectively felt rewarded, research. The early wake up after the long journey, was well worth the effort. It's late and tomorrow we check out and continue on.
Chef :)

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