Day #2 of the Crazy Tour!
Trip Start Feb 17, 2013
39Trip End Mar 21, 2013
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Last night we made a quick call to the tour "hot line." Now, whoever thinks that that will result in something good happening? But, wait! I got some talking head in Vietnam, just like we do in the United States when we call a hot line. The exciting part was . . . we are already in Vietnam! And, unlike in the US, this lady actually had a clue. Now we're rolling. Better yet, she admitted there was a mistake -- on their part! And, here's the good part, she said she would fix it
Sure enough, this morning when we met our new guide (who would have guessed), he was already up to speed on our problem and with a quick ticket exchange we were in our correct confused group.
Our first stop this morning was the not-to-be-missed carp fish farm. Takes very little land to grow carp we found out -- think about that. Actually, it was rather interesting since we saw many big metal sheds floating on the river today and wouldn't have had a clue what they are used for. Fortunately, they didn't offer any samples. Then it was off, again by boat, to a Cham village. They are a Muslim minority that came from the central part of the country. Remember the lesson in Hoi An and our trip to the My Son ruins? So, we learned how another group of very poor people live. Then it was off to Cambodia.
The boat was smaller than I anticipated, about 40'. Dayna and I chose the Promenade deck where we could hang out with a couple of Aussies and a nice guy from Denmark
First stop is Vietnam customs. Here we had a bag drag and our stuff scanned by a guy who couldn't have found a nuclear device even if he had been awake. Forty-five minutes later and we were on our way up the river a couple of miles to Cambodian customs. Here they didn't care one bit what we brought into the country as long as it is wrapped in US dollars. Thirty more minutes and we were on the river speeding to Phnom Penh. It was a beautiful, relaxing trip with no more breakdowns or stops. Arriving at the Phnom Penh docks, our tuk-tuk driver, Lan, met us as agreed and sped us off to our hotel. I met Lan on Trip Advisor and he had had good reviews.
I promised Dayna that, in Cambodia, because it is about midway in our trip, we would stay at some four star hotels. Really, all of the places we have stayed have been nice, but these I would make a point to go beyond the three star hotels. The Pavilion, is a **** boutique hotel. It was a French Colonial mansion that has been turned into a beautiful little place with a pool and garden eating area. Very close to the river and palace area, 10'-20' ceilings everywhere
NOTE to our Trip Advisor readers: Bring a towel to carry with you during the day. I was sweating worse than a whore in church. After 10 days in Vietnam & Cambodia, we are yet to see a mosquito. They must have flown south for the winter, it is the dry season here. But, spray anyway and bring lots of sunscreen. I kid you not, you can get a sunburn inside a building in this part of the world. It is hot here! The sun will fry you in just a few minutes. It is advisable to bring a small wash cloth as they are unheard of in this end of the world. If you are wondering what happens to all of those little tiny soap pieces that you dispose of in the West -- they are cut in half and repackaged for hotels here. Try to shower holding your soap bar with tweezers! Just a warning. But I digress....
This evening was really something special. Through a new friend on Trip Advisor, Ian, we were able to have dinner with three wonderful Cambodian ladies
End of another great day with more to come....