Sunday, 16 March 2014

Can Tho

Monday 10th March

We are up bright and early for our meeting at the British Consulate. We arrive a little nervous as we don't know exactly what's going to happen for our documents to be legalised and neither of us have ever visited an embassy before. Our nerves are put to rest though as we speak comfortable English with the lady behind the counter and indulge in some BBC world news, which isn't on the normal TV.

After the necessary stamps and signatures we are off to Can Tho, some three hours down the road on the bumpy back seat of a bus. There are so many bridges over the river and the bus bounces hard over each one waking me from my dozing!

We arrive in a not so comfortable hotel (not even a shower curtain) and start to wonder exactly what we have let ourselves in for. We are both riding a wave of emotions at a time we wanted to be exciting.

Tuesday 11th March

We wake up feeling a little more optimistic and head to the water front with the intention of hiring a boat to take us out on the river. We are starting to feel a bit claustrophobic in the cities and think some time on the water will lift our spirits. Oh boy does it! Immediately we are happier being splashed and swayed by the waves and start to feel more like tourists on holiday than stressed employees.

Our driver takes us to the smaller backwaters people don't usually venture down, and we get a chance to catch a little sun and wave to the locals.

Wednesday 12th March

It's our last day in Can Tho so we decide to test out the water park. It's a bit of a walk but we don't mind. However, when we arrive it's clearly closed (and for longer than lunch). Disappointed we turn to the guide book, which we realise is becoming more out of date every day, and see there is a hotel close by whose pool we might be able to cool off in.

It's a different world inside the resort. Everyone speaks English and the towels are thick and fluffy. We enjoy a relaxing afternoon of reading, swimming and general layaboutness but also realise how far detached resorts are from the real life of a country. I'm glad we have been experiencing the real Vietnam, but wish there was more balance between these two worlds.

We are back to reality just in time to meet our connection for dinner and hear we have a 5am start in the morning, so quickly head back to get packing and glad we let ourselves relax all day.