Farewell Vietnam 

VALOR Class II sprinted through the end of our Vietnam journey with a packed final day. In a country that seems to be in perpetual motion, we fit in well. 

Beginning the day with a boat ride to the Mekong river’s largest floating farmers market, we saw the wholesale beginning of much of the produce in the city’s retail market stalls. The various boats from near and far “advertise” their offerings on long poles for passing shoppers to see.  

The river is just one more example of the constant motion and endless marketing we’ve seen around the country.  Small vendors dart in and out of larger merchant vessels and tourist boats on skiffs driven with skill and balance – a lot like the millions of motorbikes crowding the roads. It seems this whole country is on the move and constantly hustling a sale. 

After a return to land and a short walk through the crowded Can Tho downtown market, we boarded our bus to head away from the Mekong delta and back to Saigon. 

Making an impromptu side trip to a pineapple farm gave us a glimpse of yet another tropical crop in this agriculturally diverse region. Our surprised hosts were gracious and generous, sharing fresh picked pineapple dipped in salt and chili pepper. The mother and son farming partners also gave us a welcomed pause from the rush of the city, offering relaxed southern Vietnamese hospitality. 


We left the farm and headed on to lunch at the Mekong rest stop, another delicious and interesting meal.  

Back on the bus and getting closer to Saigon,  we passed mile after mile of rice fields, many with family cemetery tombs amid the rice rows.  

Returning to Saigon, we pushed and wove our way though a massive wholesale market offering everything from crocs to candy, and dried fruit to dried squid.  

Winding through the downtown rush hour traffic, we stopped to visit ancient and historic Thien Hau Taoist temple with its Chinese and Cambodian influences. A temple to the goddess of the sea, worshippers light incense to protect travelers of all types. 

Last chance souvenir shopping was followed by an elegant last meal in Vietnam at Nam Phan. All of our meals have had unique character and great variety. 

And now we say farewell and thank you to Vietnam for all the experiences and memories. Awake for over 24 hour away and waiting to board our final flight home from Seoul, it’s difficult to process the rush of information and experiences we’ve lived over the past two weeks. It has been unforgettable and amazing, but home is calling. 


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