An Binh, an island of friendliness

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An Binh, an island of friendliness

Getting there

We were looking for the ferry to An Binh, when a lady surprised us asking if we had already booked a homestay. It turned out she was from the one we had booked, which made things pretty easy. She made a phone call to her sister who would wait for us on the other side of the river. Fifteen minutes and a motorcycle ride later, we found ourselves in our homestay.

The homestay

We stayed in the Ngoc Sang homestay, a house inhabited by three generations of a Vietnamese family. Only some of them spoke English, but they were all very welcoming and helpful. They especially enjoyed observing us when my friend and I put ourselves to handwashing our clothes. Probably feeling pity for us, they handed us tools that facilitated this domestic chore. According to their standards, we were obviously doing it wrong, and they amusingly demonstrated how it had to be done.

A relaxed stay on An Binh

In the evening we sat down with six other guests and were served a huge and delicious meal. It was a quiet evening. We ate, we talked and we drank. When my friend tucked in early, I enjoyed a lazy evening in my hammock.

Exploring the island of An Binh

The next morning, after breakfast, we explored the island by bicycle. We randomly entered little passageways, which often led to someone's door. Suddenly we were standing in front of a what seemed to be a joyful party. As soon as they saw us, a bunch of Vietnamese men invited us over and offered us food and liquor shots. None of them spoke English, so all communication happened in sign language. We learned that in Vietnamese, our hand gestures are interpreted in a different way: for them, a thumbs up doesn't just mean that you think something is good, it means that you want more. So they kept on pouring drinks and putting food in front of us. No matter how hard we tried, we didn't manage to make them understand we'd had enough.

Invited by Vietnamese men, An Binh Invited by Vietnamese men, An Binh Graveyard, An Binh

Later, when we returned to our guesthouse, we told the lady of our guesthouse about our day. We described the event we had just witnessed, and as it turned out, we had completely misunderstood what it was about. Apparently, the wife of one of the men had just died, so they were meeting up in honour of her funeral. If only we had known...

In the late afternoon we continued our bike ride through a maze of little dirt roads. Trouble starts when a bike or scooter comes from the other direction as there's just enough space for one. Everywhere we came, people greeted us and kids abandoned their games to wave at us. One little girl even gave us a drawing she had just made.

Cycling around An Binh

And that's basically how we've spent our time on An Binh. There isn't much more to do. You could also do a day excursion to the floating market of Cai Be, but we'd already done that earlier in Can Tho. We were here to relax and thanks to our welcoming homestay, this was the perfect place to do so.

Practical information

  • The bus station of Vinh Long lies within walking distance of the ferry to the island An Binh.
  • We stayed in Ngoc San homestay for 500 000 VND per room. Dinner, breakfast, bike rental and ferry crossing included. They have wifi and fans in every room. Recommended!
  • The ferry to the An Binh island goes every 10 minutes and costs 500 VND.

Cycling around An Binh

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