Sunday, November 17: A very full day on the Mekong

After two relatively quiet days, Sunday was chock-full of activity. Like any cruise worth it’s fare, the Jahan has lots of activities available. Tai Chi at 6:30am, breakfast starting at 7:30am, and the first of the two included tours at 8:30am.

Breakfast was a lovely buffet in the comfortable dining room, complete with an omelet bar. Like dinner last night, they offered both Western and Vietnamese style food. We met a lovely couple from Switzerland yesterday as we were waiting to board the bus, and we’ve now had two meals with Elizabeth and Andy. Most of the tables in the dining room are for more than two people, so it’s great to find people you like to be with.

The ship holds up to 52 people in 26 rooms, and there are 43 on this sailing. They divided us into two groups and assigned each of us to a guide (in our case Tri) and a local launch for the day’s activities. We were issued radios so we could hear the guide without him having to shout over the launch’s engine roar.

Going upriver, November 2019

As we motored away from the Jahan across the width of the Mekong to a smaller branch leading to town of Cai Be, I couldn’t help flashing on Martin Sheen motoring up the river in the patrol boat in Apocolypse Now, looking for Marlon Brando. The thrum-thrum of the motor just triggered me …

Fishing, selling, carrying cargo, November 2019

Life on the Mekong River, and the tributaries and channels that make up the Mekong Delta, revolves around everything the river has to offer. We passed fishing boats and farms of all sizes and types. We stopped at a floating market, where the dealers act as intermediaries between the nearby farmers and merchants who sell the produce in town.

Three places to live and work, November 2019

Many of the boats are also homes for their owners and families, at least part time. We frequently saw boats with hanging laundry and outdoor kitchens, and a man, woman and child moving up the river.

Cai Be itself wasn’t that exciting. We landed at a small area where there was a factory that made coconut candy, rice paper and other items and watched some demos. Typical group tour stuff: Tri led us from place to place and explained what they were doing, while we all crowded around. Or, in my case, took a couple of pictures, then wandered away to look at other stuff.

Back at the Jahan, lunch was another excellent buffet. I’m beginning to get comfortable with this ship (1), overcoming the bad feelings from the Ginger.

To be continued …


(1) Good thing. We’re aboard for three nights.

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