Vietnam: Mekong Delta

Trip Start Jan 18, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, March 19, 2007

We took a three day trip over the Mekong. The final day being a trip by boat to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The Mekong river is one of the longest in the world. Starting in Tibet and running all the way down to Vietnam where it joins the sea. The water itself is a dark brown dirty looking colour. We were warned by our guide not to eat from any food stalls that we met along the way as most of the food would be prepared using the rivers water and seeing as though we weren't used to it there's a good chance we would end up with an upset stomach

We started out with a bus trip to a town outside HCM City where a group of us hoped onto a boat and made a trip up some of the narrow tributaries that are all around this area. The first day comprised of traveling around on the boat and pulling into a few spots along the way including a banana sweet making factory. Well to call it a factory is a bit much it was basically a few guy stirring the mix over a fire where it was poured into a shaper and let to cool. Then two ladies would cut into the right size and package them up. We were all giving free samples to try. They were bloody good so a few of us ended up buying a few bags to keep us going for the long trip.

At the end of the first day 4 of us decided to do a home stay as part of the trip. We were picked up by a few motorbikes and driven miles outside of the town. Unfortunately for us our tuc-tuc was a little too heavy and we ended up breaking down while trying to get up a little hill. So Mini and meself got out to give it a push. Well Mini pushed while I took the picture (somebody had to do it!!). The place is a small family run house with 2 or 3 huts in the middle of the countryside. We were given a fine meal and then spent the rest of night sitting outside having a chat and listening to the widlife al round us. We were surrounded by crickets, which make a hell of a noise and firefly's which glow in the dark (my first time seeing them). Its a great view to see these little dots of luminescent shooting through the sky all around you, while looking up at the stars. Of course the downside is we were also surrounded by mosquitos. But the huts were equipped with mosquito nets and of course the local friedly geckos which solved any night time visitor problems.

The next morning we were up at 6am and took a boat to meet up with the rest of the group again. That day was spent around the floating markets, where boats would pull up beside you trying to sell their wears. That afternoon we took a bus trip to another town where we would spend our final night in Vietnam before taking another boat to Phnom Penh. Along the way we were shown a crocodile farm, one of which seemed to take a disliking to Ib. Luckily for him there was a nice steel mesh between the two of em. They also had 2 black bears in a cage that was way too small for em. It was a real shame to see, but according to the guide they are well looked after when it comes to food and attention. We were able to go right upto the cage door where the two guys would get up on their back feet and stick there paws out as far as possible for you to rub them. I wasn't brave or stupid enough, depends which way you look at it, to actually stick my hand in.

We got to our hotels where we were taking to a few more temples before getting a bit of dinner and a good nights sleep before heading to Phnom Penh.
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