Behind our Sampan we pulled a bamboo covered rowing boat suitable for tributaries, so we took a trip along one.
This was an insight into how local people live. Foreinstances along one such inlet we saw farmers growing fruit, flowers and rice.
We also saw what at first glance looked like a family’s home that kept a few ducks by the water.. but as we grew nearer there were hundreds of them, clearly being bred for market.
We were taken to a very romantic setting for dinner in the home of a Vietnamese family. Unusually the family was made up of four sisters, non married, one of which we met.
She was dressed in a turquoise Vietnamese silk shirt and trousers.
Clearly very proud of her home which was a two hundred year old house like something from a movie set. There were four tables and chairs and behind that was a Vietnamese bed which was made from solid wood. In front of large posts boards hung with Chinese letters going down them made from mother of pearl.
Behind all of this she proudly pointed to three shrines where she worships her ancestors.
We sat with her and our guide and drank traditional tea with her.
She beckoned to us to the shrine on the right with two photos and proudly introduced us to her mother and father.
Two of the tables had been set out beautifully with candles, wine and food.
As we sat at one end of the room and took in the view from our own romantic scene, a couple walked in with their guide.
Hold on a minute!
Roll back to Saigon Opera House. We sat next to a couple watching the Tah Der show. We briefly spoke, they were from Hertfordshire and like us on holiday and were planning to go by boat overnight on the Mekong Delta.
Roll forward and who just walks in? The same couple that we sat next to in the Opera House!
After we respectively ate our romantic dinners at opposite ends of the room, they joined us for a chat. This lovely couple Sara and Shaun like us were on a Sampan run by the same company.
Victoria Cruises have definitely figured this out… they have just three, one cabin and just two, two cabin boats… but they are romantic luxury and a real jewel in the crown… like a hidden gem.
A final night on board on a bed so comfortable that with fans and mosquito net, nothing is left to wish for.
After packing we ate breakfast at the rear of the boat under the careful eye of Captain Coung, who navigates carefully towards the morning floating markets.
We pass for a third time, Sara and Shaun’s Sampan returning from the markets. Who knows if our paths will cross in the future.
As if this is not enough, we end our cruise at a Victoria Hotel with lush gardens, stunning grounds and warm welcome from the Operations Manager to hear about our cruise.
We talked for quite a while.
In the grounds young couples that will marry in a month or two have photographs taken in costumes.
Certainly different to western cultures where all too often the wedding photos are rushed…
Well we’re not rushing now! Our driver will have to wait until we’re ready to leave Vietnam and the people of the Mekong.