At the end of a perilous dirt track to the east of Dalat, the Tiger Cave Falls seem to have fallen off the city’s tourism radar. During our visit, there was nobody else there… and we got the feeling that it’s been that way for a very long time.
Part of the six-hour boat tour we’d taken in Can Tho had been a visit to a tourist-oriented rice paper “factory”. That was fine, but we wanted to see the real thing. About forty kilometers north of Can Tho lies Thuận Hưng, which is locally known as a rice paper village. We took the bus there, to hunt down a few of the factories.
Apart from a few photos in a Can Tho tourism brochure, we couldn’t find any information about little Cồn Sơn Island. But we decided to roll the dice, and visit anyway. If “Adventure” is comprised of equal parts “Challenge” and “Surprise”, with a dash of “Terror” to spice things up, then our experience on Cồn Sơn definitely qualifies as an adventure.
On the northern coast of Phu Quoc, we discovered a gorgeous beach, totally devoid of other people. After laying down our towels, we stepped cautiously into the water. It was shallow and perfectly warm, but we had to enter extremely slowly, to avoid stepping on the hundreds of starfish strewn about the floor.
On the outskirts of Vinh Long, a set of factories produces bricks, vases, statues and a million other ceramics. With towering brick kilns poking out of the palm trees like the stupas of Angkor Wat and an absolutely relaxed policy toward visitors, visiting them make for a unique and rewarding excursion.
Saigon is a city of crazy traffic, constant noise and unbroken swaths of concrete. But there exists a section of the city which is totally different. We spent the day walking around Phường 28: an island that has been almost completely overlooked by Saigon’s insatiable appetite for urbanization.