The Mekong Delta - the long way to Cambodia
Trip Start Oct 05, 2008
23Trip End Dec 20, 2008
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The first leg of the journey was a bus trip to the Mekong. This turned into a very good opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep! Once at the Mekong we boarded a boat and were taken on a tour around the floating markets. The floating markets consist of a large number of boats moored randomly in the middle of the river, stacked very high with the goods they are selling. Shoppers come around in their little narrow boats and buy off these people. Probably the most disturbing part of this was seeing the toilet conditions - the toilet is literally a hole off the back of the boat, sometimes in a room, sometimes not. There is no plumbing attached so the sewage is dropping straight into the river. We needed no incentive not to go swimming! From there we were taken to a restaurant on an island for lunch. The afternoon was on the boat back to find the bus, and then on the bus for a long time to drive to Chau Do. The funniest part of the afternoon was the guide getting off the ferry, without bothering to check if he had us all and leaving 8 of us standing on the top deck chatting (there were only 10 of us in the bus, I wonder how long it would have been before he noticed us missing!!)
The next morning was another early start, we were going in little row boats to see the local fishing village. The first stop was a local fish farm. The fish are kept in a cage under the house, and they lift a part of the balcony up to feed the fish. This results in a massive amount of splashing as all the fish scramble to the top to try to get some food. Quite entertaining, but none of us were keen to be splashed. On the way to the next stop Bruce had a go at rowing the boat, not the most effective go - I think we went more sideways than we went forwards! With the guy rowing again we made much better progress through all the floating houses to a land stop. We saw the locals weaving silk, and checked out a local temple before getting onto a slightly larger boat (with a motor) for the trip to the border. Just as we arrived at the border, it poured down! We made a run for a local restaurant while the guide went off to sort out our visas. Once that was all organised we were off to Phnom Penh.
A pretty average trip the rest of the way, we were dropped at a hostel at about 6pm, settled in and went out to find some dinner.