Hundreds of motorcycles driving around the rotonda welcomed us as the bus finally arrived in Can Tho City.
While most of our companions chose to stay at a two-star hotel, we deviated from the majority’s choice. I persuaded my parents that we should stay at a Vietnamese Homestay to get a different experience. My persuasion worked.
The vehicle parked in front of the two-star shabby hotel. A young man in his 20s approached us and introduced himself as Minh. He’s the owner of the homestay, where we’ll be spending the night.
My parents were surprised that we’re riding motorcycles on the way to Minh’s homestay. I just smiled at their worried faces. I hopped on the motorcycle and couldn’t hide my smile riding alongside hundreds of motorcycles in Can Tho City.
From the city, it took us 25 minutes before we arrived at Minh’s home beside the river. Though Minh knows a little English, he tried his best to talk with us. He said that he’s a tourism student and would want to be a tour guide when he finishes college.
I’ve researched and seen good reviews in TripAdvisor’s specialty lodging for the Mekong Delta. It was also recommended by fellow PTB member, the Solitary Wanderer Aleah who stayed there as well.
Minh showed us our room made of thatched nipa. It has two double beds, an electric fan, and a toilet of its own. And yes, they have mosquito nets. As simple as it was, the room was homey.
I checked the toilet. It was clean and decent enough.
There is also an outlet for charging phones and cameras.
I dropped my bag and wandered outside. A young girl at the veranda smiled at me. I asked her name. She replied with all her best in English, “My name is Nghâ.”
I didn’t understand the name. She repeated it and I followed her until I pronounced it right. Her mother, the housekeeper laughed as I tried to chat with her but the conversation didn’t push through as she couldn’t understand my English anymore.
As expected, they have hammocks at the veranda. I rested in one of them. It was relaxing. Minutes later, another woman came. She introduced herself as Minh’s mother. She then told us that dinner would be served at 7pm.
She was also having difficulty to converse in English. But she used the universal language, SMILE, to communicate with us. She used hand gestures to convey that we Filipinos looked like Vietnamese too. The only English words that she uttered, “Same Same.” (And then she smiled).
It felt great to chat with locals like them who tried their best to mingle with us despite language barrier.
It was a family affair as Minh’s brother set up the table and served the meals.
We called it a day after feasting over spring rolls, sweet and sour red fish, fried noodles, fried little shrimps (okoy), and vegetable soup.
The home-cooked food prepared by Minh’s family was one of the best Vietnamese food that I’ve tasted.