Good Morning Vietnam!

Trip Start Feb 26, 2006
Trip End Sep 16, 2006

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, May 22, 2006

The Vietnam/Cambodia water border on the Mekong River recently opened to foreigners and is becoming increasingly more popular, and sailing down the Mekong sounded a lot more interesting to Eva and I than taking the international bus.

We had read that independently booking transportation in the Mekong is quite difficult and expensive, and after three weeks of transportation hell in Cambodia, Eva and I were ready to compromise our standards just this once and book a 4 day package tour through the Mekong. We were ready for someone else to do some of the heavy lifting for a while.

It wasn't worth the $10 a day fee we paid, but we do save a lot of trouble negotiating transportation prices with moto drivers, boat operators and hotels.

We take a horrible minivan get to the boat. Tt only takes two hours, however, with the terrible Cambodian road conditions and no suspension on the car, it's a hellish ride to the dock.

Cities visited in the Delta and summary of experiences:
Chau Doc: Chew baby duck! (see photos/video) Our the tour guide San is very nice, funny and friendly. We met up with two friendly Japanese female travelers who we hope to see again one day in Japan.

Can Tho: We meet "Ha," the hilarious boat operator. We regret having booked the tour as she would have been a great guide (through she was expensive at about $25 for an 8 hour tour). In the end our package tour was a much worse value, as we spent a total of 30 minutes visiting the Vietnamese floating markets and small inlets.

My Tho: Atmospheric canal rides on small boats through the jungle. Families in tiny houses in the jungle; you'd never see them if they were trying to hide. We think about what this experience would have been like were we soldiers here 30 years ago, when that same solitary atmosphere would have transferred to a feeling of terror.

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