Mr Muoi Day
Woke up at 6:30am and had a quick shower before packing up then heading to breakfast. The tide had gone out a lot and you could see fish flapping around in the traps and axolotl-type creatures at the edge of the mud. Breakfast was baguette slices with egg, jam, sticky rice cake, tapioca cake and bananas. I tried a coffee but didn't like it much; way too bitter even with lots of condensed milk mixed in. After breakfast we said our goodbyes and headed to the Floating Market at Cai Be
, of course passing lots of interesting sights on the way, including a kapok (cotton) tree. At the market each boat had one particular item for sale, a sample of which was strung up on a long pole above the boat. We saw pumpkins, tapiocas, watermelons and turnips for sale.
Mr Muoi Day's homestay
We then went for a walk in Cai Be town including a fish sauce shop that was smelly but obviously very lucractive as the owner Huong Binh had a very large, impressive, newly painted (and probably newly built by the looks of it) house opposite. The Vietnamese love their fish sauce! The local people come by with a jug or container and fill it up via a hose, much like how you would fill your car with petrol at the petrol station. The next stop was a shop where we saw again how to make rice paper, plus how to make popped rice (like popcorn) from puffed rice, which they make into rice cakes flavoured with giner etc. Very yummy! We also saw how they make coconut candy by mixing fresh shredded coconut with malt then adding flavourings such as pandan, peanuts or chocolate. I bought the chocolate variety for my workmates.
Afterwards we got back on the boat and returned to where we had first got on. We all tipped Hieu and Hua for their excellent service. On the way back to HCMC
we stopped at a handicraft shop where the goods are made by handicapped people who were affected by Agent Orange (Cong Ty 27-7). A lady showed us how laquerware was made with egg-shell and mother of pearl. I bought a lovely small jewellery box to support the charity. After that we headed back to HCMC in our minivan. K and I checked into our room again then headed to Margherita (as recommended in LP) on Pham Ngu Lao St for some Mexican food. I had delicious vego fajitas. Headed to the Tax Department supermarket on Nguyen Hue then to get some supplies for the 8-12hr journey to Dalat tomorrow morning.
Then I bought an 'I love Pho' t-shirt for US$2. Headed to the Pet Shop then which was a gorgeous shop selling all sorts of stuff - aprons, tissue box covers, mobile phone holders etc - all with dogs and cats on them sort of anime Asian style! Loved it! I bought a purse for me and my sister and a wall-hanging letter holder. After that K and I decided to head to Highlands Coffee for a pit stop. I had a delicious fruity twist - a mango, strawberry, banana smoothie. Headed back to the hotel via Ben Thanh then, after using the ATM, which incurs a 20,000D service charge each time I wasn't too happy to find out! Bought a cute little tea set for the bargain price of US$2 there. After showering back at the hotel fired off an email to Mum then met up with the others at 7pm, and headed back to Sao Dong for dinner, this time I had crispy fried noodle with beef and veggies which was super yum. Headed back to the hotel after tea, buying an 'Adidas' shirt for Dad on the way.