I joined a tour this morning and headed out of town to the Mekong River. The trip north to an hour and a half, most of which was spent dodging motorcycles in the city center. The tour included a boat ride on to a chain of islands in the middle of the river. On these islands were bee farms and fruit orchards. I was surrounded by mangos, jack fruit, papaya, durian and guava just to name some of the crops. One of the islands had nothing but coconut palms and I rode a dugout canoe through a series of canals. It felt as if I had stepped back in time. And more than once I had visions of tigers leaping out of the dense growth brushing against the boat. I did this quick ink wash and pencil of the boat in front of me using the canal water to wet my brush.
When I returned to the hotel, I walked the neighborhood again while I still had light. I found this series of roadside eateries cooking up grilled meats, rice and noodles. And again, as I drew, a crowd quickly formed. The people were very friendly and offered me snacks and tea. And not long after I began someone pulled out a guitar and began to play. It must of been popular music because several people began to sing along. What a great atmosphere for drawing and enjoying the sun going down. It did get too dark to finish and I got up early the next morning so my work wouldn’t go to waste. And of course I went to go get another bowl of Pho. And did I mention the iced coffee? Ohhhhhhh……. I will never drink water again!