Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mekong Boat Tour - Chau Doc

The Mekong boat tour was about the same as all the other boat tours I've been on so far: 20 people crammed on to a slow, puttering vessel observing the scenery, reading, etc. The first half (the Cambodian side) was pretty standard, then we stopped for lunch and immigration and a quick meal before getting on another boat on the Vietnam side. This boat had a really nice and friendly guide named San. Clint started chatting with her and by the end of the boat trip and arrival in Chau Doc San had invited us out for Karaoke later that night.

We checked into a great, clean, comfortable room that was included in our 'tour package' but otherwise $6/night...probably the best room I'd stayed in during my time in SE Asia up to that point, certainly for $6. We caught a rickshaw driver to take us to a local Pho noodle soup place, where for $1 each we got a big bowl of beef noodle soup(it would turn out to be one of the best I had in Vietnam) plus a Coke. Not too shabby.

After dinner we hooked up with San and a Danish couple also from the boat and we went to the house of two kids that San is tutoring in English and we all practiced English together. From there we headed to Karaoke. We got a private room with our own Karaoke system and San and her brother lead off with Vietnamese song. It took me a while to get up the nerve but I finally decided to give 'Benny and the Jets' a shot...what a mistake. I quickly realized that I knew little more than the chorus and totally butchered the rest, trying to rapidly speak them as they flashed on the screen. At least Clint got some good video of it and I still managed to score an 83! We spent a couple of hours at the karaoke and all really got into it by the end of the night. The Danish girl turned out to have a great voice and I was really surprised at how San and her brother knew the words to many American songs that I had never even heard of. I also noticed that the Vietnamese love the echo effect on the microphone.

The following day we concluded our 'tour' with a visit to a local 'cham minority village' where they weave and sell things, a swing by the local mosque, and a stop at a floating fish farm, and then it was back on the bus to head up to Saigon.

Photos: Chau Doc


Ms. V said...

how's it been being back?

Anonymous said...

Is everything cool? Did you finish the trip safe and sound? Hope your well!
-Sam from Canada