In Vietnam, on one of our many fascinating excursions off the Aqua Mekong, guests visit Sa Dec to discover history, intrigue and architecural elements at the home built in 1895 and occupied by Chinese businessman Huynh Cam Thuan. He was the lover of the then young author Marguerite Duras, who later wrote about the affair in her novel, “The Lover“. This popular cruise excursion and house tour takes you back in time to follow in the footsteps of Marguerite Duras, the celebrated French writer. Duras’ acclaimed autobiography is set in the Vietnamese village of Sa Dec where the lustful teenager falls in love with a Chinese gentleman who is twice her senior. While in Sa Dec, guests will have the opportunity to relive this romantic story set in the Mekong Delta by visiting the home of Duras’ actual lover who was the inspiration for her memoir.
The historic house of Duras was built by Huynh Cam Thuan, one of the most famous and affluent Chinese businessmen in Sa Dec at that time and was inherited by his youngest son, Huynh Thuy Le. Huynh fell in love with the young French writer when they met accidentally on a ferry in 1929.
The three-room wooden house was built in 1895 and occupied 258-square meters at the time. After its renovation in 1917, the home was enhanced with colonial elements of design that blended eastern with western charm. The sophisticated decor within the home portrays the lifestyle in southern Vietnam during the 19th and 20th centuries. Travelers who tour the home gain a better understanding of this fascinating period in Vietnamese history and culture and can visit many of the local spots the author references in her book.
Our Aqua Mekong guests also are able to join our Chef Adrian Broadhead while he shops for fresh produce and the mornings catch of seafood in the local Sa Dec markets.
Join us on the Aqua Mekong for a taste of Mekong Delta culture which rekindles a fabled romance and treats all to a rich Southeast Asian tapestry of Vietnamese history, architecture and culinary delights.