Given the breakdown with assistance we were now in a situation of having committed to the expense of a car with driver and guide, but no plan ahead of us. Doing his best to help us the guide had made contact with a local vegetable grower but this didn’t hold a lot of interest. So I asked for us to be driven to the next province, Vinh Long, where we hoped at the very least to enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong.
The main artery of the “nine dragons” river flows through Vinh Long province, which is one of the lower lying parts of the Mekong Delta. On arrival in Vinh Long we found accommodation, then lunch, and then out to the countryside. We stopped at a couple of households and talked to people. The two main things that we heard here were that water isn’t a problem for them, because it is in such abundance in this province, and that they are also now experiencing insect pest problems with their rice. When asked if there were some good local farmers worth talking to they said yes there were, but they were about 7km walk away!
By mid afternoon we’d all had enough. So we headed back to our hotel, a sort of resort complex by the river… where we sat outside to enjoy a fresh breeze and the coolness of the air as a thunderstorm passed nearby. Then to a room where the power didn’t come on until 5.30pm and even then the air-conditioning didn’t work properly!
That evening I asked our guide, Nhon, if we could somehow try and find some wise people to talk to along the river. This inspired him to call a TV station who gave him some contacts. It sounded promising for what we had decided would be our last day on the Mekong.