Mekong gone Wrong !!

Trip Start May 10, 2011
Trip End Apr 15, 2012

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, August 20, 2011

After vowing never to book another tour again we find ourselves booking a 2 day tour from HCMC along the Mekong Delta River and all the way over the border to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The Mekong is supposed to be beautiful so we figured how bad can it be – well in true Vietnam fashion…nothing is ever as they say it is !!

The tour was supposed to go along the lines of:

-          Bus from HCMC to get the boat and then boat along the Mekong visiting floating market, visitng different villages to see things they make

-          Boat along the Mekong some more

-          Stay overnight on a floating hotel with free dinner and optional sunset cruise

-          In the morning see some more villages then head to cambodia on either a fast boat (extra $5 per person) or on a slow boat

So after going in and out of the travel agent several times still undecided to go for it or not we were assured with photos (that were shown on a huge LCD tv) what the boats looked like & the hotel etc we though what the hell and booked it.

Well it wasn't long before we realised we had been scammed again – what we basically got was:

Day 1

 – Picked up at 6am spent some 10 hours on a bus and 3-4 hours on the boat

- got checked into the floating hotel in the dark at 9.45pm, no free dinner & we hadnt eaten since lunch at 1230 so forced to eat in overpriced rubbish restaurant.

- Told we had to be back at reception for 6am for breafast !!

- The slow boat pic wasn’t the slow boat this was the boat you had to pay extra for – now its not the money it’s a matter of principle – there were 7 of us in total who had all been told the wrong boat – it wasn’t about the time it took we just wanted to sit on deck and chill out watching the world go by !!

Day 2

-          Bread and jam for breakfast

-          After much arguing with the guy about the boat we reluctantly pay the extra money for the fast boat as the guy told us the slow boat was really small & took a really long time so we didn’t fancy that for 8 hours

Just before we were setting off from the hotel another boat pulled up beside us turns out that was the slow boat and funny enough it was pretty much the same size as ours !!!  Lying fookers… by this point we just wanted to get away and get to Cambodia, think that was the general thought of everyone on the boat by this time.

We got to the border and got our stamps and visa’s no problem we then had to change boat again so off we went and the trip up the river was beautiful there were little villages of wooden huts all the way up the river with the kids running down to the banks to wave at us, the little kids were all just running about naked and the huts were so basic wooden things on stilts.

The staff on the boat changed at the border from Vietnamese to Cambodian and so did the atmosphere, they were so lovely the wee drinks lady couldn’t speak any English but was so humble and delighted to be serving our noodles and beers and continually smiling it was such a nice change. 

Phnom Phen

We arrive into Phnom Phen around 6pm, grabbed a tut tut and he recommended a hotel for us, we don’t normally do that but in this case we got a great wee room right near the river and near a market, instantly we love Cambodia and the people.

We went out for a wander and treated ourselves to a nice restaurant and a delicious Amok Curry the local dish – it was server to us in a coconut by super friendly waiters then headed out for a wee drink to watch the City game its amazing how after just a few hours in a country you can instantly love a place. 

We found out at a later date that the slow boat actually got in at 3pm BEFORE us ha ha.

Cost of Mekong tour – 25 p/p

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