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We went on a cruise on the mighty Mekong, stopped by the Cai Be floating market and tried elephant ear fish for dinner. Cruising along the canals, rivers and backwaters, we discovered how the local people lead their lives. We visited a congested flotilla of boats selling all manner of fruit and vegetables at Cai Be's floating market. We also stopped by some family-run industries, which include a rice paper, popcorn and popped rice factory. We stayed in a home-stay situated on an island in the middle of the Mekong River. After two days we set off on the riverboat back to Cai Be and returned to Ho Chi Minh in the afternoon
About Vinh Long
Tra Vinh is noted for an attention-grabbing collection of pagodas, with over 300,000 ethnic Khmers living in Tra Vinh province. The province boasts 140 Khmer pagodas compared to 50 Vietnamese temples and 5 Chinese. Without even trying, we stumbled on the exquisitely painted Chinese Ong Pagoda, with the red faced, deified general Quan Cong, a historical figure doing his best to protect the region from war. We happened onto a Cao Dai Temple and were warmly welcomed for tea and proudly taken on a personal tour of their recently built building. A new religion, created in the early part of the 20th century, it combines the teachings of all the great prophets from the east and west. Instead of a Jesus or Buddha in the center of the altar there is the ancient symbol of the all seeing eye in a pyramid, staring down on the chanting believers; dressed in white robes and black hats. The brilliant colors of this new temple were spectacular, in a Disney sort of way.