Ride day 32: My Tho to Can Tho
21 July 2016
We are woken by very loud noises and the room literally shaking. It sounds as if they are demolishing the hotel with us in it. We pack up hastily and head downstairs. The woman from the hotel insists (as always) on giving us the victory sign right in our faces with a really manic smile on her face. On the verge of scary!
When we head through to get the bikes out of the corridor, it becomes apparent that the noises that sounded like demolition, were in fact just that. The room directly beneath us has had its outer wall knocked out with no support in place. There is dust everywhere, including a thick layer covering our bikes. We get the bikes outside and give them a rough clean up and I also spend a few minutes duct taping the edges of my vinyl covering, since the shop hadn’t replaced the metal sill.
As we head out of My Tho, we take the time to stop and grab a banh mi from a roadside stand, before riding just out of town to a small lay by near a memorial. We sit in the base of the cannons that were there to eat our delicious breakfast.
After breakfast we continued along back roads on the way to Cat Tho. These rural roads took us along the sides of canals, over some very narrow bridges and through a series of small water side villages. It was on these back roads that we went through an incense village. Thousands of hand made incense sticks laid out on racks drying, and an amazing smell in the air. Along the way we stopped in at a very remote floating market that was marked on the map, but very little actual trading activity (possibly a touch too late in the day).
When we reached the junction with the QL1 heading south, it looked an impossibility to turn left across the constant stream of traffic. So we took a quick U turn and rode under the QL1 on a small track along the canal bank then turned right on to the Main road.
The QL1 as always was exceptionally busy with trucks and buses. The speed of the traffic is also much higher than in the back roads. We take the opportunity to get out of the traffic for a bit and relax in hammocks in the shade with ice cold Cokes; something that we haven’t taken advantage of enough on our road trips. Nothing beats chilling out in a hammock.
The final stretch of road down in to Can Tho was fairly non descript in itself, but the views of the waterways and the large modern suspension bridges were super impressive. Coming on to one of the bridges had a steeply angled transition, leading to the first full speed jump on the motorbike. Quite fun, but wish it had have been planned rather than a reaction to a very odd road feature! Shortly after this stunt experience was one of the weirder sights we’ve seen on the back of motorbikes; a woman riding along holding and breastfeeding her baby whilst riding her motorbike on a major highway. Unbelievable!
After crossing the last major bridge in to town, we head to where the floating market is meant to be. It’s hard to get down to the waterside, but we manage to get a few glimpses between some of the small houses along the side. At least we now know where the market is for an early morning visit.
We ride back towards the town centre in search of our hotel. A repeating bug bear of the booking.com directions not being compatible with google maps or maps.me, and often being wrong again hits home. After multiple u turns and backtracking up and down the back roads we eventually find our hotel.
It’s in a nice quiet street, with off street parking and a very friendly English speaking receptionist. Once checked in, we are helped to our room by one of the guys working there, only to find it’s a twin room. Having carried our bags to the top floor, we now have to move back down a few floors to a new room. A new surprise awaits us there however. As the man attempts to open the room, he finds it locked from the inside. He knocks on the door a few times, and then eventually one of the cleaners slinks out slowly carrying her blanket and heads to the room opposite to continue her sleep.
We shower up and change in the room, before heading to the far end of town to get some dinner and check out the views. The restaurant itself was great food and service, and all very reasonably priced. But the whole way through dinner we couldn’t take our eyes off the cakes and baked bananas the woman was bbq’ing on the street next to us. When we finished dinner, we bought a few coconut cakes and baked bananas, walked over to the riverside and found a park bench to eat them while enjoying the night time activities on the water side.
After our delicious cakes, it was just a 10 minute ride back up the road in the dark to our hotel for the night.
Full days route here: