Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mekong River Tour

Our second day in HCMC we were off on another tour set up by the hostel (or someone they know). We were off to explore the Mekong River. After a very cramped bus ride there we boarded what can best be described in Archie and Jughead terms as a jalopy. The boat made each of us a bit nervous and the cappuccino water didn’t make me comfortable about a possible abandon ship situation. One thing I have learned to do on this trip though is breath. In the states we have so many rules and regulations which I’m sure do prevent injury but sometimes we need a little fear to remember why we live. So our lovely tour guide serenaded us down the river as we neared our first destination which was to get off of our boat and get on to even smaller boats. He told us 12 to a boat but no one said anything about the 15 of us on it. We then went to a coconut candy “factory”. Factory of course means 5 women making, cutting, wrapping and packaging coconut candy. It was good and we bought some for the road. The rest of the day was pretty much the same. We visited small family run businesses and heard a variety of songs written by our tour guide and let me just say he should not quit his day job!
I love bees and think they are very interesting so i was psyched to visit a bee farm and sample some of the fresh honey. We had tea and some dried fruit by the bees wanted some of the sweetness too and wouldn't stop crawling in Lizzy's tea. 
A bee takes a sip of Lizzy's tea
Pinky out 
We also got to get paddled down a part of the river by a man and woman who must have been at least 70 and maybe weight 100lbs soaking wet. I was skeptical that they would be able to give us smooth ride but they did glide us right down the river and gave us a lovely view of the scenery. We were sure to tip them well for their hard work with us "big size" westerners.
Our boat captain
Oh how we love touristy photo ops
.After a long day on the river Liz and I had a nap and then headed off to find the Hard Rock Cafe. My pops is gaining quite the collection of pins on this trip I can’t wait to see all of the guitars pins from my journeys together. With over 4 million motorbikes in the city and only like 2 traffic lights walking just a few blocks made me feel like Evil Knievel. It is basically a game of working up your courage putting your hands to the side and walking with great speed and confidence to the other side. We were very proud of ourselves I must say. We 
made it to the and had a beverage.  
DSC08640The collection of stuff wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t too bad. They did have a guitar that Eddie Van Halen gave to his son Wolfgang and it made me think of my friend Todd. They also had a nice Crosby, Stills and Nash display with some photos and couple of guitars. We decided to take a cab back to the hostel rather than test our luck on the busy streets again. I really like HCMC it was a nice change from the dirt and poverty present in Cambodia. I didn't picture Vietnam to be so developed and "western" considering they fought so hard to keep foreign ideals out.While there isn't a Starbucks or a McDonalds to be found there are KFCs all over South East Asia. Everyone has a right to some KFC right? I mean, the Colonel with his wee beady eyes puts an additive chemical in the chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass! 

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