Early start to the day by making sure we had breakfast from the buffet so we were ready in time for our 7.30/8.00 pick up. Unfortunately bus had broken down and we weren't picked up till around 8.30.
Bus arrives with 2 Italian men on board. We then head off on our 2 hr journey with our guide "Dong" (as in the Vietnam money) which caused a few obvious jokes. On our journey Dong spoke to us about things such as schooling where going to Kindergarten is the most expensive year of them all costing about 200,000 Dong per month. The population of Ho Chi Mihn City which is just over 10 million where about 70% of them ride motorcycles. Why there are tomb stones in the middle of rice fields, which is so that the loved ones that have passed can be close to the families as they work. They are only buried in these tombs for 2 - 3 years before being moved to a cemetery.
We then stopped for a toilet break before heading off to our destination.
Once we arrived, we hopped onto our boat and headed to our first stop being the floating markets which weren't very exciting but we hopped off our boat and onto another which carried all sorts of different fruits which we got to taste along with having a coconut drink which wasn't very tasty.
Our next stop was a traditional workshop where we first tried some Snake Wine which was disgusting for some and liked by others. We then watched how the locals made Rice Paper, Pop Rice and Coconut Candy. Quite interesting and nice to be able to taste the end product.
We then went a short distance to see the bees that made pollen granules, honey & Royal jelly which can perform all types of miracles from beautiful skin to helping with illnesses. Nin who volunteered to hold one of the bee hives got stung and needed ice to help with her throbbing, swollen finger. This stressed Dong slightly who advised this had never happened in the hundreds of times he has been doing this.
We then made our way to a small island where we experienced a hand rowed sampan ride by Vietnamese women wearing their traditional hats. Once we got to the end of the sampan ride, we hopped out and walked to where we would have a refreshing drink and get entertained by the local farmers with their instruments and singing which was excruciatingly painful at times. We were glad to leave but not before being asked to tip.
Lunch was made which was basically an omelette with pork, shrimp and mushrooms which was cut into quarters and wrapped in rice paper with lettuce. We then had spring rolls, pork balls in pumpkin flowers I think, vegetable soup, pork & rice and fish. It was a lot of food which was very tasty and enjoyable.
After filling our bellies, a few of us had a little lie down in some hammocks before hopping back on the bus for the 2 hour trip back to our hotel where one of the concierge guys again helped precious Nin (who doesn't like to be made feel old but loved the attention) up the stairs. Jean then dressed Nin's wound and then Craig, Jean, Paul and Kath headed out for dinner leaving Nin and Pop in their room as they were still stuffed from lunch and needed an early night.
All in all it was a good day had by all.