01-Jan-2005 -- Leaving Hochiminh city at 12:30 PM, we were heading to the southernmost tip of Vietnam, the muddy big toe of my country. We were racing against the time to get there before mid night in order to celebrate the New Year. We did not stop for food, drink and rest. The only time we had for stretching our legs was on the ferry passing the Mekong River. At 21:30 PM, we arrived CaMau town, the township of CaMau province and left our mini bus and car there to jump right onto a pre arranged high-speed boat. In the Mekong delta, canals and rivers play important parts in transportation. My GPS was showing a steady speed at 63 km/hr while cars can only get around 40 km/hr on the bumpy roads. Things worked out quite well and we managed to celebrate the New Year with Champaign and fireworks at the southernmost extremity of the country.
We spent sometimes wondering around the area for taking pictures with a tour guide in the next morning and were told that this tip of the country is growing about 100 meters a year. From here, we can swim from the Gulf of Thailand in the west to the East Sea in the southeast in minutes. However, the water is very silty and thick in chocolate color, it’s full of silt and organic. The Mekong river carries all the silt all the way from China, through Laos and Cambodia to Vietnam and the settlement help our land to expand. If the guide is right, it grows about one foot everyday and that can be seen. I wished I could stay a bit longer so I can mark a point to see the land growing. But I have another task to do; I have to visit the 9°N 105°E.
This time, we were equipped with an iFinder Pro, a Geko, a Meridian and a Fortuna Bluetooth. I downloaded and printed out maps from http://www.nexus.net/~911gfx/SVNmap.html and did some other homebrewed maps from https://zulu.ssc.nasa.gov/mrsid/ using OziExplorer and overlaid with geographic names from http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/index.html
I have to say that the map I made from MrSid database is extremely accurate. We left our speedboat about 3 km from the confluence, walked about 2 km along a canal, passing gardens and tiny bridges, some made by just a single coconut tree across the two bank of a canal. We were then stopped by a middle-aged man who insisted to know what we were doing before letting us cross his land. He was repeating his only question and our explanations were under suspicious, so we decided to go back and look for small boats for rent. Very soon, we stopped the boats in the middle of nowhere and walked along the rice fields and water ponds banks toward the point. We were lucky, the point is right on one of the water pond banks, otherwise we might have to get wet to see every number zeroed.
On the way back, we came to know that there was a person killed by bees last year somewhere near the confluence. All along the trip, we were only thinking of snakes but not bees !!!