Monday, October 11, 2010

Sweet-talking officialdom

Blogger and Facebook are not liked in Chau Doc. I don't know why but both were blocked. Now that I'm in Can Tho for an evening, access has been restored courtesy of the Victoria Hotel. And what a great hotel it is too. Thu, the GM is a lovely lady and she gave us the grand tour after we survived the local minibus ride from Chau Doc, the iritating motodops at the bus station and the torrential rain that belted down for the whole day. Umbrellas were the order of the day as we headed into town after lunch, sweet-talked our way into the Military Museum and the Uncle Ho Museum - both were closed but the female military officials in their full regalia succumbed to our charm offensive and fell over themselves to give us unrestricted access. Don't let the uniform put you off, be persistent and charm personified and doors occasionally will open wide, as these did. We also had a long conversation with a monk at the Khmer pagoda in town that was essentially a worksite after the old pagoda building was pulled down three months ago. There are 2 Khmer pagodas in Can Tho city and both are besieged by builders. He said we should held for Tra Vinh to see their Khmer pagodas and was left beaming when we told him that's exactly where we are headed tomorrow. We ate at a great-value place just opposite the Can Tho market by the river - sorry I forget the name - and returned to Victoria using their very-convenient shuttle boat, in prep for an early start in the morning to visit one of the larger floating markets that the Delta is famed for. I must thank Thu again for all the arrangements.

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