Ciao from Chau Doc

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Rickety guesthouse with lots of geckos

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, March 17, 2011

As we chucked the luggage out of the lift at 7.55am we saw that Mia and Hau were already waiting outside on their moped. We followed them through the busy morning city to a great café where we surrendered the bikes to an efficient security guard. It was fantastic to be out with locals who could explain all of the strange dishes surrounding us. Mia said we should try the fish noodle broth which is a local specialty. To be honest we were pretty nervous about fishy soup for breakfast, however when it arrived it smelled and tasted delicious. The noodles turned out to look like purple spaghetti, which apparently is not usual, just a speciality of the restaurant.  Even Mia had never tried them before. In the course of this meal, we also found out that the fish we've had quite a few times is 'snake fish’! Its skin definitely looks like a snakes (Mikey wasn’t happy.)

Another friend of theirs, called Pha arrived during the meal and we interrogated them all about their careers. Apparently, in order to pay back their one year scholarships to study in England, they will have to work for the government for 10 YEARS on their return! That seems like an amazingly big commitment to make. Unbelievably when we finally said we must get on the bikes, they insisted on treating us to breakfast. We let them on the condition that we can take them out when they’re in London in September.

For the first time in weeks the sky was overcast and so, fuelled up with our big breakfast and the previous night’s pasta, we powered through the busy 40 miles to Long Xuyen. The empty roads of the previous few days were gone and so we put the helmets back on and weaved in and out of the mopeds on the hard shoulder. Long Xuyen turned out to be a massive town, where we found a great café and had ice cream sundaes and strawberry milkshakes for lunch.

The last 37 miles followed the river and racing the boats kept our minds off our tired legs and achy arms (me – they’re fed up of being in the same position all the time.) Arriving in Chau Doc we checked out the boat situation first and bought two tickets to Phnom Penh leaving at 8am. This boat should mean we will arrive in the capital city of Cambodia at noon, giving us time to have a look around before getting the boat to Siem Riep the next morning. We are under a lot of time pressure now, got to be in Singapore for the 17th of April!

We pedalled round the hectic market filled town looking for a hotel and eventually found a cheap and nasty one on the river front. The pastel pink room was filled with more noisy geckos, but the view from the balcony of floating houses below was great and the owner very friendly. We ate our last Vietnamese meal in a floating restaurant next door while watching busy river life.  Looking back at our route through Vietnam, it’s incredibly satisfying to see just how much of the country we’ve covered. From sunny, chilly mountains and drizzly northern paddy fields, to moped filled metropolises and baking red sandy desert scrub, we’ve now spent our last days here pedalling through an enormous watery jungle. Best of all for cyclists, all roads in this country have been TARMACKED!!! Definitely a cycle tourer’s paradise.

Miles cycled: 77 (thats alot)
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triciagick on

Think you should treat those lovely Vietnamese friends to a meal/sal on Alice - that would give them a tale to tell when they go home xxxxxx

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