planning a trip to Vietnam and are having difficulties
deciding where to go and what to do, what you cannot miss
and what to skip. From the feedbacks of our customers,
Cheap Vietnam Holidays would like to recommend some
activities considered by travellers as must-do's when you
are in Vietnam....
Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, Chau Doc and Saigon
Had a relaxing morning in Phnom Penh
before heading out with the group and our backbacks to get on a boat
Vietnam. We were lucky that it is the beginning of high season
as we got a boat large enought to actually have a toilet! Hanging
off the back didn't sound too inviting! There were a mixture of
benches and proper cushion seats with large windows and a strong
breeze as we headed out onto the Tonle Sap and then onto the
As the rivers converged the muddy waters of the
Mekong overwhelmed the other river and created an interesting
pattern in the sunlight. Spent most of the 5 hour boat ride in the
cushion seats but managed to sneak out to the front of the boat deck
and hang my feet and legs over the edge as we sped through the
water. It was exhilirating!
boat pulled in and let us out in Cambodia for out exit procedures,
children and others rushing to sell us anything we might need.
Quickly we headed back to the boat, motored for a few minutes, then
pulled into Vietnam for our entry procedures. Multitudes of vendors
including small children rushed to sell us things, change our money
in the local currency (Dong) and act as porters for our bags. A
young boy grabbed my bag in spite of my objections and ran away with
it to the waiting area. He wasn't happy with the tip I gave him, but
then, I wasn't happy that he had grabbed my bag without my consent!
arrived in Chau Doc at dusk, docked up to a floating restaurant, and
got in our usual a/c bus. The streets were crawling with scooters,
bike taxis and a few unlucky vehicles larger than that. It was quite
a bit like Katmandu, but on a smaller scale. Traffic, rushing at
each other with no regard for lanes or anything...chaos. After about
5 minutes we arrived at our hotel which was cute and like a small
European Boutique hotel...with robust hot showers and a balcony! We
set out for the internet but found that it was horribly slow, kept
crashing and that most of the spaces were taken up by young
uniformed school kids playing video games...the popular one being a
dance video game.
There's definately a Chinese influence here not felt in Cambodia.
Many people wearing the typical Vietnamese conical straw hats. Had a
nice group dinner then played cards and drank beer with some of my
tourmates. We played Gin, Golf and Bullshit...which never seemed to
end! Bullshit is like that, eh?
morning we woke up early and headed out on the road towards
Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). The bus ride was about 8 hours
and very easy. There is a liberal use of horns here on the road. Had
lunch at this resort like restaurant (reminded me of Bali). We had
two ferry crossings and traveled fairly decent roads amongst many
branches of different rivers/canals. The houses made of tin, wood
sometimes concrete, usually set on stilts, visually precarious but
surely more sturdy than they seemed. Vietnam seems to be developing
and modernizing at a rapid pace. Driving into Saigon reminded me of
driving into a much smaller scale Shanghai...except lots of motor
bikes in lieu of cars. (Note to America, we all need to buy motor
bikes to relieve some of the street congestion. It seems to work
great here!) More exciting than our sturdy, safe large vehicles!
Tonight we take a bicycle/rickshaw tour of the city and then have
our final group dinner of the trip...very sad. I will miss my
tourmates quite a bit after we part ways but am really looking
forward to my next tour in India.