New Years Eve in Can Tho.
Taking a day off from travelling, I decided on staying here in Can Tho for another day. As it’s a decent size city and they were putting on a fireworks display to welcome the new year, who doesn't like a firework display!
One thing Can Tho is famous for, is the floating market. A traditional market that sells everything from lotto tickets to fresh fruit, veg, flowers, food, drinks and a floating coffee shop! People make a day trip from Saigon to Can Tho just for the market!
Early rise for the floating market
Booking a boat the previous evening was easy, the hotel arranged the trip for 320k VND ($14), I had a wake-up call for 5.30. This was the best time apparently to see the market.
I was the only one to board the boat which was nice as I was still sleeping haha. It wasn't long, and I was soon wide awake! as the driver powered down the river in the darkness, the cold fresh air soon woke me up! As we sailed down the river, we passed by other tourists doing the same thing.
I wasn’t t sure how long I’d have to travel before getting to the market.
As you sail down the river, there are many photo opportunities, so I was kept busy. So many homes on the banks of the river. One thing that I just can't get over is the amount of plastic rubbish piled up on the shoreline and at the back of the houses. I watched a woman throw a full plastic bag straight into the river! I just don't get this! I don't know if it's a lack of education or there is not a good system in place to remover the trash from peoples homes.
About 30-40mins into the journey, I started to see a bit of commerce on the river, the first was a guy slowly floating along selling lotto tickets. Then a woman with a boat full of bright yellow flowers.
And that was about it, other than a floating souvenir shop that had about 4-5 tourist boats parked up. The driver asked if I wanted to go in. I said no, as I was expecting something a little different, like the photos I'd seen in the past with 100's of boats floating around.
I'd made a schoolboy error 🤫
It was Tet holiday, the only days of the year people will take time off work. I chose that day 😂
The driver then turned to me, said something in Vietnamese. I got the jist of what he meant. Let's go back!
That was it, over! I just laughed. Nothing I could do, just another travel story haha.
I since told a friend about my boat trip, and she is from Can Tho. She burst out laughing when I told her like I was some kinda idiot 😂
Lesson learned. Tet shut downs everything!
It always works out!
Like everything, with the bad comes the good. So getting up mega early, well at least 5.30 is early for me! Has its benefits. Getting off the boat I had two options. Go back to the hotel, get some rest bla bla bla. OR go for a wander!
I chose the wander, camera in hand I started to walk around and get a much better feel for the street life in Can Tho. It was different from the night before. So much quieter, no tourists on the street, no massive crowds taking selfies with flowers, just people going about their day. Buying fresh food, drinking coffee and doing final preparations for Tet.
Here is a selection of some street photos that morning.
New Years Eve Celebrations
It appears my hotel was a good choice as it was only a few minutes walk from the fireworks location.
I had stayed in the hotel until around 9.30pm before leaving. I thought I could maybe grab a drink or just see what was happening.
To my surprise, the street was soooo busy. With many people making there way to the riverside.
Here are some photos of the area before the celebrations.
I found a cafe that was on the banks of the river, prime position for the fireworks. They were charging 150k VND ($6.50) that included a drink and snack. I sat down with my smoothie and chips and waited. I'm not gonna lie, it was boring sitting there on my own. I wished I had waited or met up with others.
Finally, the time came for the fireworks. I don't think I've experienced a longer display! It went on for almost 20 minutes! Impressive all the same ☺️
Afterwards, everyone started making there way home. I waited a little bit for the crowd to die down, but there were 100's of thousands of people!
Walking through the crowd, I was hit! Some clown drove his bike into the back of my heel! Turning around I gave him some choice words and quickly calmed down. He had four people on the bike including children. I was lucky no real damage was done. Just a bit sore, so I shrugged it off and got back to my hotel.
Another day passed and into a New Year. Tomorrow I will share my trip to Ha Tien from Can Tho.
Until the next time, enjoy the journey!
Keep it real
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