Beautiful smiling people
Some tourist traps
Another corner of the world that is worth visiting
Our group took a guided tour on the Mekong River to see the floating market at Cai Be. Here we went aboard a local boat selling pineapples and bartered with the sellers for goods. The tour gave us a good chance to see how the local people live and work on their houseboats. We also visited local family houses to see how coconut candies, popcorn and...more
This was an interesting visit of the factory along the riverside, following the making of the tiles from the moulding, sizing and cutting to the baking and finally loading onto barges to go up to HCMC. Most of this work is done by women for about 2 dollars per day.more
Sadec is also the place , if you are arriving from Cambodia, where you will first run into the famous "papillons blancs"or white butterflies. "Papillons blancs" is the term used by the Vietnamese to describe the teenage college girls that wear the pure silk "Ao Dai" national costume. When you see them on their bikes with the wind blowing you can...more
Sadec is a place to be recommended, a nice laid-back provincial town that has a lot going for it. The same friendly people you find everywhere but without any hassle whatsoever. This is the town Marguerite Duras lived and where the book and consequently the film "L'amant" is based. You can visit the school where Duras' mother taught and also visit...more
Yes the whole package from Saigon to Phnom Penh is a bit of tourist trap with its stops in a coconut candy factory, a rice krispy factory or the dinner in an authentic restaurant. However, the stop in the 'minority village' is over the top. They drop you off the boats and you walk around this small section -thankfully it is fairly small and you hope the people that live a little further away have a more normal existence. Its been set up with lots of souveniers and snacks that little girls desperately try to sell along with the echos of 'give me money'. A shame really - its one of those sad places that has been spoilt by tourism.
Unique Suggestions: Take a walk past through the village and up to the main road - here you will find the 'real' village and see a mosque as well as what life really looks like.
Fun Alternatives: Most packages seem stop in one of them, both the two day and three day trip had it listed.
A side trip from Cai Be is the village of Binh Hoa Phuoc (or villages) as they are so close to one another , you can't tell the difference, is a superb day. Taking a sampan along the canals we first came to a small factory where the girls sit and work emptying the Mekong cockles. A good hour was spent with our guide chatting and laughing over who wanted her photo taken, who was shy etc. They earn about 1 dollar for a kilo of cockles, and believe me there is a lot of cockles(emptied) in a kilo. Gives them between 2 and 3 dollars a day.After this we had lunch in an old house, chinese of origin, that doubles as a restaurant and had a fish called "elephants ear". Delicious !! After a siesta in the garden, got back on the sampan and ended up at another house with a large garden with small open sided huts on stilts where we were to sleep for the night. From there we hired bikes and went for a ride and met some lovely people on the way. Unfortunately none of these places have names and it was only through our guide that we saw what turned out to be a real highlight of our trip. A real backroads experience.