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Today, after breakfast (at which I had my new favourite dish, chicken pho), we were taken ashore by a local boat to explore Sa Dec.

The French writer Marguerite Duras lived in Sa Dec between 1928 and 1932 – our riverboat, La Marguerite, was named after her. While living in Sa Dec, Duras became the lover of a man from a wealthy Chinese family. Their love story became the basis for her 1984 Prix Goncourt prize winning novel, “The Lover”.

On a walking tour, we visited the old house of Huynh Thuy Le, better known as “The Lovers’ Museum”. We then walked along a paved riverbank and visited the local markets.

In the afternoon, we boarded another boat for an excursion to Cai Be.

Here, we visited the local port area with its colourful buildings and Cai Be’s floating market, a huge draw for locals and tourists alike.  Vegetables, fruits and all manner of items are sold from boats that are tied together in groups of four to six.  Their wares are hung from large poles to identify which ship has what.

To end the day we visited a French gothic cathedral.

Back on board, in air-conditioned comfort, our last night on the ship was celebrated at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.


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