Trips out to the Southern Mekong Delta
Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
18Trip End Aug 01, 2013
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First trip was around a place called Cao Lanh just for 2 days and 1 night. The main thing to see was the Xeo Buyt Relic which is basically a beauty spot but historical war site where a command was run in deep, Catjeput forest which is that seriously overgrown, almost out of control yet naturally unique forestry which is simply stunning to see. The site was very remote and so didn't have many visiorst, but the ones there were mainly Vietnamese. The whole area was so beautiful with paddy fields, Lotus flowers and beautiful forestry
The second trip took me to Chau Doc in the north west corner of the Mekong on the border with Cambodia and from Sam Mountain there you can see in to Cambodia... or so they say?! There were some beautiful pagoda's there too but the highlight was just getting there driving through these flourishing small street side villages all brimming with business from the mekong. The whole area looks tropical, like the Caribbean, with palm tress lining all the streets and every kind of fruit growing and being sold all over the place, and because of its abundance, at very cheap prices too. I bought a kilo of bananas for 7000VND, that about 25p and a kilo of mangoes for 60p. A fresh coconut water followed by eating of the flesh for just 35p and all kinds of fruits i had never even seen before. Back in Saigon i had sampled a fruit i didn't know the name of from the market and i swear it was like eating pure brown sugar, not only the texture but the super sweetness of it
After Chau Doc i tried to find this national park at Tram Chim where you could hire a boat and see loads of Mekong mini rivers and local wildlife. After a while i found the park headquarters and as i pulled in on the motorbike, the security guard ushered me towards the main reception and pointing up the ramp in to the office. To give you the picture, almost all houses, offices and building fronts have a step, or steps leading inside and usually have a mobile ramp in one part to take motorbikes in, usually at night for safety. Now there was a motorbike car park to the side but this security guard kept pointing me to go to the office. I motioned to him a couple of times if he meant me going in to the office and pointed at myself and my motorbike then at the office and he just nodded, smiled and pointed again. I could see a couple of women behind the reception and a guy at reception to the side of the ramp which was about a meter long and high at about a 40 degree handle and so i twisted the throttle and up i shot straight into the office and up to the reception desk but the minute i did it i realised i shouldn't have done it
I stayed in Chau Doc for two nights exploring the area and then drove down to Long Xuyen, ferried over to a peninsula and over to Sa Dec and then back over to Can Tho which is where the biggest floating market is and is a central point of the Mekong Delta.
I got up early and walked to the river and was approached to hire a boat which i bargained to 100,000, so 3 quid for an hour..bargain! The floating market was great, all theses people coming together to trade or buy smaller amounts of fruit and veg but it was great to see these river people living on their boats and the river and see the hustle and bustle of it all and i got some great photos
So the plan now is to stay here a day or two and then head to Cambodia taking the Southern route kind of zig zagging up the southern peninsula's and seeing a lot of coastal fishing areas that really aren't on the tourist trail at all. So i should be in Cambodia in about 5 days and from there i'm still a little unsure... my plans have changed slightly as i need to be in Thailand sooner to meet Jamie & Suzanne on their honeymoon! Can't wait... so might skip Laos and do a little more of Cambodia or stick to the plan but travel a bit quicker and more sparingly but ill decide over the next 3 or 4 days. Its just another great problem to have...!!
If i remember rightly i left you ll with a cliff hanger again last time but i'm afraid its gonna have to wait, i'll update the final few days of Vietnam and then reveal all then!
Love to you all and thanks for all my messages, i love getting them, they make a huge difference...xx