Can Tho City
Can Tho is a city of 1 million two hours east of Cambodia, to the south and east of Saigon. A HUGE military base was located there. About the size of Clarksdale or Southaven in land mass, the base provided all the logistics for the Delta. The military airport provided support for the Delta units. Rep. Mac Huddleston tells me he flew into Can Tho Airbase one time--to pick up the Mommas and the Papas (for you youngsters, that was a leading 60's pop music group)
The airbase is all but gone. The runways are gone a portion of the old terminal (please, do not picture something modern) remains. The base is being turned into a subdivision for Vietnam Army Officers. The logistics part of the area is a sprawling industrial park. Again, if you name a leading worldwide company of any nation, you will find it here. The Delta is the motherload of labor supply of young people.
In Vietnam, couples are encouraged by the government to have just two children. 18 is the age for women, 21 for men to marry. In the city, both men and women wait until they have established themselves with a good job and decent apartment before marrying and put off starting a family. In the country, they do manage to marry earlier, do not put off having children, and by 25 they have three. That is why there is a labor supply.
On this page you will see pictures of Can Tho, the city. On the next page is tourist eye candy--the River market.
Typical of the larger cities is shop upon shop upon shop. They are narrow and on the above ground floors are apartments. Although joined by common walls, each is separately owned. Unlike Ho Cho Minh City where the typical starting price is $1 million USD for a single unit, these will run $500,000 and up for a single multi story unit.
The government does not allow people to build on the banks of river and streams. Some are "grand fathered" in, but still over the river structures are not allowed. Like some of our people, "just dare me, government, to not build what I want. You can very well guess where the poop flows.
All is not shanties. Can Tho was a very beautiful, very clean city. The streets were near immaculate from litter AND potholes.
The "skyline" of Can Tho.
A Catholic School.
An Apartment Building.
You would refer to this as our Ben Franklin Five and Dime, or a Fred's. Note the computers at check out--yes, they scan barcodes. You can buy everything from jewelry to groceries from all over here. American foods are very popular.
Parking lot for Five and Dime
Sign at entrance to Industrial Park.
Now, to be sure, there are very modern, clean new factory buildings that rival any upscale factory in the U.S.A. I took these because these buildings are original to when we had our supply base in Can Tho.
Not much is left of the Can Tho U.S. Military base. This is a new Vietnamese Army Headquarters there.
This building is equivalent to our county courthouses. In fact, most government buildings we went to look alike, new, very modern but maintaining a certain look and spacious.
A bank in Can Tho
An office building
The Front of our Hotel
Do not for a moment think that if you go to Vietnam you are staying in some backwater hotel sharing a common bathroom or shower facility with the people on your floor. This is the exterior of ours.
All "first" floors are ground floors. What we might call the second floor is actually the first floor. Our hotel in Can Tho was absolutely first class all the way.
An interior shot of the hotel. Geckos, small lizards, are everywhere. Very common to see them on the walls or ceilings of common areas like the lobby. A card in rooms asks customers that if one makes it into the room to not disturb it and if it disturbs you, to please call the desk for someone to remove it.
Another shot of the lobby. While under cover, the lobby is open to the exterior and the breeze coming through is very refreshing. Television is in all rooms and with up to 50 channels, you get programs in American, Italian, German, Australian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and all countries have some version of Jerry Springer, American Idol, Sesame Street, reality shows, and soap operas. Most with sub titles in at least two languages.
So, a conventional hotel is not your choice. How about staying on an upscale floating hotel like this one? All the conveniences of a land based one, but you get a different view as you float the river.