2017-11-29 Scenic Ride, Ferry Madhouse & Market Chaos

Sa Dec to Long Xuyen

Lovely scenery following the river on major roads. A large pond of lotus blossoms stunned me. A new cable suspension bridge rises above quiet rural villages, a harbinger of changes to come. Men fish the edges of the Lilly pad clumps along the edge of the river from a row boat, using a small dip net to scoop the unsuspecting. Their net carries a charge from a car battery to stun their prey.

The last leg was a ferry crossing like none before. This was big-time. Six ferries made the 1/2 mile crossing to Long Xuyen, loading and unloading as quickly as possible, tag team style. I was among the last to board one ferry, but they asked me and a dozen or so motorbikes to back down off the loading ramp to take the next ferry. They then jostled the rest of the crowd until they could close the gates. These are big ferries; they hold large trucks and busses. No waiting. The next ferry was unloading on the adjacent slip as I backed down.

The ferry unloaded into a major market, one of the busiest and most chaotic I’ve seen. Correction, “chaotic” would be an improvement in orderliness. My hotel was a real sh*t hole – filthy. An uneasy night and anxious to leave for Chau Doc.

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