Another tranquil and beautiful day, with clear blue skies, along the Mekong Delta as we sail towards our next destination, Tan Chau. Day 4 of my Mekong Delta was even more memorable as I celebrated the birthday of Kristine, a newfound friend, whom I met last week during my Halong Day cruise.
Yesterday, I made an arrangement with Van, the hotel manager, to help us prepare a champagne breakfast for Kristine’s special day. We had everything set up at the vessel’s sundeck. The setting was perfect. The beautiful sunrise and the background music, “It’s My Party’ (which I downloaded the night before), added perfection to the ambiance. For days, this song stuck in my head.
‘It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you’
It was a fun and an unforgettable moment, as we exchanged laughters and stories of our trips, sipped champagne and savoured freshly baked pastries, and mixed fresh fruits, cheese and crackers on an elegantly set table showered with petals of red roses. Van also got a bouquet of beautiful red roses from the local market. Our tour guides joined in with us later to greet Kristine and sing her a birthday song, not just in English but also in Vietnamese and French.
The most beautiful gift was when Ian handed down Kristine a self-made card with a picture of Le Margueriteboatthat he personally sketched. Kristine really loved the card and enjoyed the birthday party. It was indeed a good way to start the day, as she turned over a new leaf.
After a lovely champagne breakfast for Kristine, we were all excited as we approached the town of Tan Chau, a charming village, not frequently visited by tourists but so
much thing to offer. Tan Chau is known for its silk. It is located between the borders of Vietnam & Cambodia.
We walked around by foot and we were pleased with the congeniality of the locals. The kids were happy to see us as we gave away some goodies. The kids personally gave me freshly picked flowers as we were leaving the village.
At Tan Chau, we also explored the town via its common mode of public transportation, the rickshaw (XeLoi). Following a visit to the town’s mat making factories, we cycled down the streets of Tan Chau for a brief shopping opportunity to a family-run silk weaving factory. We also had the chance to attend a workshop by one of the mat-makers. Along the way, we also saw the town’s traditional barbershops, shaving their customers and a lot of local livelihood activities. It was such a nice feeling to receive the locals’ welcoming smiles and waves as we passed through and visited these places.
Before lunch, we had to bid farewell to our multi-skilled Vietnamese Tour Guides, Phiem, Thao and Thoai as we prepared ourselves to head to the Cambodian sea.
At 3 pm, everyone was invited to join Chef Tan and his assistant chef to learn some Vietnamese cooking as well as fruit carving. After the class, we were treated with an ice cream on the sundeck.
As soon as the custom formalities were completed, Le Marguerite continued to cruise to the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
Another delicious dinner was served. The cruise offered a specially made birthday cake for Kristine. There were 7 other guests who joined at our table, including the youngest guest on board, Ruedi with his parents Jill and Hans. After dinner, everyone was back to the Saigon Lounge for a movie time. ‘The Killing Fields’, a remarkable and brilliant film, which is based from a true story on the survival and hope of the two journalists during the Khmer Rouge’s regime.
In this article, I am delighted to feature APT (Australian Pacific Touring) who fully sponsored my 8-days luxury cruise of the Mekong River. Visithttp://www.aptouring.com.au to view list of ALL their product offerings.
Day 5 destination is to the exciting capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
© 2012 by Michelle Riel, retains sole copyright to her contributions to all the contents of this site.