Jim, Lisa and the World
A trip of global proportions
About Us (2)
Costa Rica (2)
New Zealand (11)
* The heat in Southern Vietnam
* The Mekong Delta
* Our passage into Vietnam
* The Temples of Angkor
* Eastern Cambodia by motorcycle...and elephant
* The Killing Fields
* Kings Cross Car Market
* The Red Center
* Cruising and Noodling
* The Great Ocean Road
* Melbourne part II
* Up the Coast
* Capital Good Times
* Missy the Beasty
* The Seperation of Wife and Mate
* Rugby, Navigation and Magellen
* It's a small world after all!
* Free! Free Falling!
June 15, 2005
Our passage into Vietnam
After some debate we decided to take the "slow boat" down the Mekong river from Phnom Penh (Cambodia) into Vietnam. Being in a developing country, certain things must be accepted...the fact that no one pays ANY attention to schedules is one of them.
We were told to be ready to leave early and we were, with breakfast already in our stomaches by 6:30am. We were then hussled from the hotel to the bus station (it was about an hour by bus to the boat terminal), loaded onto a bus for the journey, unloaded and then guided on a ten minute walk to a small sitting area in front of a house - apparently the boat launch? After all this frantic movement it was now time to hurry up . . . and wait.
We sat and waited. We drank water and chatted with our fellow would-be passengers. Any questions we asked about the itinerary were greeted with assurances that it wouldn't be long and the occasional offer to buy snacks. Finally when another group of tourists arrived we learned the delay was due to the fact that their bus had broken down en route from the capital.
To us the slow boat seemed a more romantic way to make the journey than by bus and it gave us some one-on-one time with one of Asia's mightiest rivers. And it was romantic in the most adventurous sense of the word. We climbed into a narrow wooden boat equipped with a fantastically loud deisel engine (loud deisel engines are the preferred source of power for people in this region) and were off down the wide river towards the border.
Along the way we saw countless fishermen and cargo ships, small makeshift "ferries" shuttling people and motos from one riverside to the other, and we were passed by a great number of faster boats - reminding us that we were indeed on the 'slow boat.'
At last we arrived at the Vietnamese border where we went through the cursory immigration exercises (including paying a small fee for the 'ink' on our passport stamp). We then ate a small lunch and boarded a new (to us anyway) and still very slow, boat to bring us the rest of the way into Viet Nam and our destination city of Cao Doc. This time however our boat was equipped with a tour guide who gave us some interesting insights into the many intracacies of life on the Mekong.
We were now heading into the famous Mekong Delta region: an expansive, flat and lush reagion of Southern Viet Nam- an area that is the country's "rice basket" if you will. As we meandered through small riverside villages we passed many fishing farms, stilted houses (the river rises by several meters in the rainy season) and playful children exhibiting their diving skills and shouting at us in unision their greeting: "Hello!"
All in all a very warm welcom to Viet Nam.
Posted by Jim & Lisa on June 15, 2005 07:31 AM
Email this page