Along the market street in Can Tho
A bus from Vinh Long
(1.5 hours, 50,000d/$2.50) took us to Can Tho, our last stop in the Mekong Delta. It is the fifth largest city in Vietnam so it’s nothing to be balked at and isn’t exactly a sleepy little Mekong town.
The bus Vinh Long to Can Tho
When we arrived we were accosted by a taxi man who assured us that he was security at the bus station and was here to make sure that we got a proper price for our taxi. How much to downtown? “150,000 dong flat rate, no meter. It’s a good price,” he assured us. We walked across the station to the Mai Linh taxis who were waiting like arch enemies. The first guy we talked to barely spoke English but the word “meter” did come out of his mouth. The “security” guy cut him off though and told us that the driver would rip us off by driving around in circles while watching the meter go up. This scared us enough to decide that we’d get a set price, despite suspecting that Mr. Security was full of crap. Making the companies barter against each other we quickly reached a price that we thought seemed reasonable, 80,000d/$4 from the Mai Linh driver. Turns out, if we would have used the meter it would have cost us 62,000d/$3.10. The 90 cents difference is worth it just to have this valuable information for our kind and generous readers (the Paypal donations button is on the side bar).
Vietnamese fruits galore.
We arrived at Tay Ho Hotel
to find that all the rooms were booked except for a superior room which was out of our budget. As we were leaving the owner stopped us and asked how much we were willing to spend. “300,000 dong.” He took us to his sister hotel; Hotel 31B
, not a creative name but it was quite decent and had a nice view of the river (AC, fridge, cable, 300,000d/$15).
We opted against doing one of the over-priced and touristy floating market tours, and instead spent the day acquainting ourselves with the plethora of tropical fruits available in the area. We wandered the various fruit stalls, practicing our Vietnamese a little, and wrote this amazing Vietnamese fruits review.
Later that evening we ate at a restaurant that featured rat on the menu.
It was only a quick stop in Can Tho as we had to get back to Saigon
for our flight to the Philippines. The flight didn’t leave until 1:00AM so we had some time to kill. After taking a bus back to Saigon (100,00d/$5), we jumped on a public bus (bus #2, 4000d/$0.20 each plus 4000d/$0.20 for all our baggage) to Ben Thanh market. We spent most of the day sitting in a bar on Bien Thu, getting a little tipsy, and eating pizza. Unfortunately, the city bus to the airport finishes at 6PM so we had to take a taxi for 160,000d/$8.
As the plane started to take off the exhaustion of the day kicked in hard but the view of Ho Chi Minh City from the sky at night gave us a bit of a recharge. The next seven and a half hours were spent in transit (flight to Manila, 3 hour layover, 1 hour flight delay, flight to Puerto Princesa) and in a semi-concious state. Thank goodness we were landing on a tropical island in the Philippines where we could slow things down a bit and have a vacation from our vacation.