Following my blog about Top 3 things must sees in Can Tho, I ended the blog with an open question: whether a Bassac Cruise can be added to my favourite things to-do list. For those who have never been on board a boat or afraid of being away from the land, it is a fantastic experience to stay a night on the Mekong Delta with its cooling breeze, peaceful atmosphere, perfect safety with all the conveniences of a Bassac Cruise.
The highlight of my most recent Can Tho trip was spending 24 hours with the City Pass team on Bassac II. We boarded at noon to have lunch together at the alfresco area of the second floor. The lunch set of steamed shrimp with coconut soup, beef, fish and tropical fruits for dessert was served against the background of a spectacular view of Can Tho bridge and the Mekong River passing by.
Local Insight: If the temperature is too high for you, stay inside the boat to avoid the heat. You can’t enjoy the food and the view while the sun is beating down on you.
In order to get away from the sun, I found my way to my comfortable twin room with air-conditioning. I was surprised that it had free Wifi on board so I could update my news feed with Instagram photos on Facebook and check my email frequently. So I was able to keep in touch with people as if I was onland. Superb and convenient!
The late afternoon was a good time to visit local areas on the banks of the Mekong Delta. We left Bassac Cruise II and boarded a small boat to get to a local village. The highlight of the trip was crossing over a bridge called Monkey Bridge which only fits one person at a time. The trek was completed with fruits from a local’s garden. Fresh fruit served with shrimp salt quenched our thirst after our long walk and attempts to cross the bridge safely.
Local insight: Most places serving fruits also offer homestays for travellers who desire to experience a night with locals.
Back to Bassac II to prepare for dinner and party afterwards, I rushed to the bathroom and indulged myself in a hot shower which really made me feel refreshed and ready for the evening ahead. Later, I chilled out with the team and had some pieces of gỏi cuốn (springroll) and quiche along with a complimentary cocktail or beer.
Local insight: Cocktails, wine and beer are available at any time on the cruise so indulge yourself.
Dinner was served at 7pm when night had fallen. However there was enough light to see the satisfaction on everyone’s faces when tomato soup, fish, chicken, rice and delicious fried pumpkin flower were laid out on our tables.
Being with my team mates outside work was an incredible experience. The cosy space with cooling breezes and fresh air made us all feel at ease with each other. The night was full of laughter, conversation, games and whisky and cognac. We stayed up late until 2.30am and enjoy every minute of our time without bothering any neighbours.
Local insight: You can ask for a light supper before 11pm which can be instant noodle with beef or some bread.
Even though we got to bed very late, I was determined not to miss the sunrise on Mekong Delta but the sun was behind the clouds on that day but I was able to see Phung Hiep floating market Trà ôn market at 6am and enjoy my early breakfast at 7am.
We were shifted to a small boat to visit Cai Rang floating market at 8 am and enjoyed some pineapples before heading Ninh Kieu port around 10.
I was far more excited by this cruise than by any plane journey. I was fascinated by the trip and definitely decided to add a Cruise to my to-do list when traveling in Can Tho.