Wednesday, August 11, 2010

VIETNAM...the Mekong River Delta

Our group spent about 15 minutes here at the half way rest stop. Most rushed to 'sing a song' while I wandered around to have a good look at the place. There were quite a large number of westerners having drinks and meals in this busy-looking restaurant set amidst beautiful greenery and lily ponds. On closer look, I saw prawns in these well maintained ponds.

The nice looking pond with prawns.

I noticed this white Jambu tree similar to our S'pore variety.

Our coach journey came to a stop at this place where we got ready to
board the motorised boat which will ferry us across the River to our next
stop at Thai Son Island.

This is a typical big River boat which has dining facilities and which caters
mainly to the tourists.

At the pier where we were boarding other powerboats were berthed
nearby. Because of the existence of numerous inter-linked canals and
smaller rivers in the delta, transport by water is very important to this

Our turn to board our large boat.

D2 safely inside the spoacious boat.

Mr Chua K S causing the boat to tilt a little ( Haha! )

An old sea hand on the deck of the boat. In red cap is Tony
our local Vietnamese guide.
He, as well as the other fellow guide Colin, can speak good English.
They told us that it is not easy becoming a certified tourist guide as
prospective entrants have to study, pass various exams before even
being considered.
I suppose this is now the norm everywhere unlike in the past where
any Tom, Ah Beng, or Harry can be a guide of sorts.
It is even more stringent in countries with a long and complex history...
like Turkey or Italy or France.
In Turkey, my local Turkish guide related that fewer than 10 % of those
who went through the whole college course eventually got to be actual
certified guides.
I believed him.
He could rattle names, days, dates and all sorts of ancient info off his
finger tips!
They need to also move with the times by checking out the latest religious,
cultural and political practices in the region where their visitors come from.

1 comment:

peter said...

I have not been back to Vietnam for 10 years, so things changed since my last visit. I remember seeing Neptune Orient Line (NOL) one time operated a river boat service using hoovercrafts to Vungtau. But business poor bco of land-based competition from vans. Thenthere was a Australian-Singapore company which operated the first river boat hotel docked in Ho Chih Minh City. The 5-star hotel I last stayed was called the Marco Polo Hotel (run by the same hotel owners in Singapore), a short distance down from the airport but near the first Vietnam bowling center. I think the first disco in Ho Chi Min City was operated by Dennis Foo (of St James Power Station)and Spore United Tobacco Group. Of course the Vietnamese had theirs near the city square (forgot the Vietnamese name), near the REX HOTEL. I enjoyed the jazz band that played at the REX HOTEL.

Did you see HANOI HILTON, a POW for captured Americans or the Cuchi Tunnels?