Saturday, December 16, 2006

Vietnam - country side

So the tuesday morning we all piled into a minivan and headed out to 'The Coconut Grove' a small hamlet a few hours west of Saigon. On the way we stopped off at the Cu Chi Tunnels. We also picked up some snake wine at the tunnels after having consumed it the previous night.- They place snakes and other animals into vats with alcohol, disgusting but the result is not too bad. Much nicer than tequila.

Cu Chi Tunnels.

Dinner on the street.

Snake wine.

We stayed that night at Nhung's grandmas place (a small cafe in the hamlet) and the next morning we were treated to a variety of activities. Including hunter - gathering for the boys (Cam and I should now be able to survive on an island with only coconut palms), bicycle riding for the girls and an offerring for everyone. We bumped into the town drunk on the way to Uncle Coconuts place and he joined us for some drinking and merriment. We later dubbed him Mr Moonshine and noted his attention for Claire (he repeatedly said "Number 1"). We later discovered that number 1 is a brand of condom over here so that has confused us even further. Anyway, the offering, including a chicken turned inside out was in the hope of a prosperous harvest for a new piece of land that Uncle Coconut had recently purchased. Of course the offerring also included shots of some of grandma's moonshine which soon made short work of Anje.

Mr Moonshine.

With a sad farewell (of sorts) we left the hamlet and headed back to Saigon with a short stop at some mountain (cant remember the name). It is strange cos it pops up out of nowhere. We caught the chairlift part way to the top and joined others in praying for lost souls at a pagoda. The cart/bobsled ride on the way down was closed that day. I was extremely dissapointed. So it was chairlift for the way back down. :(

Mountain Chairlift.

We proceeded to do some quick shopping in Ho Chi Minh and then started our series of early morning starts on our Mekong Delta cruise on the thursday. Considering this is meant to be a holiday we have had way too many early starts. Today took the cake with a 4:30 wake up to see the non-existant sunrise at Ankar Wat, but more on that later.

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