We got up at 6.15 AM. Gunnhild went out to buy some crackers for the road, and some tissues/handkerchiefs for Fredrik. That was a bit harder than expected, so she returned with potato chips and cute princess tissues. 😉 We were picked up by a brand new and luxorius car at 7.30 AM’ and started our drive towards Cai Be, where we would start our cruise. We expected small villages, farmland and small roads, but were surprised to also drive through large citys, over fancy bridges and pass big factories. In this area we also saw more churches than temples. At one point we took a ferry across the river, and it seemed to be imported from Denmark since it was named VietDan and had a Danish flag on the side.
We arrived in Cai Be at 11 AM, and were welcomed at the dock by several very friendly guides, but with difficult Vietnamese English. We arrived a bit early, so one of the guides offered to take us to the local market instead of just waiting, but we politely declined. Instead we watched large groups of tourists going on sightseeing trips on the river. A German couple going on our boat was a bit delayed, but finally we all got into one of the sightseeing boats that would take us there.
We were welcomed onto Mekong Eyes, and after some juice and information we were showed to our cabins which were nice and with huge bathrooms (for a boat). Mekong Eyes have cabins for 16 passengers, but we were only 8 and would have plenty of space. We were served a 5 course brunch in the restaurant at 1.15 PM, and then had a beer with the others (2 from Australia and 4 from Germany) on the sun deck. All great people!
We had a little bit of rain in the afternoon, which gave us time to unpack and do a little bit of blogging. But by 4.30 PM the rain had stopped, so we all went a shore to visit a small village (pop. 1200). We saw all the different types of fruit they where growing, a farmer planting rice, school kids on their way home etc., and in the only store we saw, we were able to refill our Vietnamese SIM card. It was really hot and humid, but still we sat down for a cup of hot tea (!!) and some fresh fruit before going back to Mekong Eyes.
Besides the 5 course dinner at 7 PM, the rest of the day and evening was spent on the sun deck watching the life on the river, getting to know the others, sharing travel stories and drinking a few beers. Great night!