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Mekong River

Cambodia to Vietnam

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As much as we would have liked to stay in Cambodia and seen more of the country, we had to make our way to Vietnam if we wanted to see the sites up the coast.

We decided to take the less traveled route to Vietnam and hopped on a 3-day tour down the Mekong River, through the Mekong Delta, all the way to Saigon. It was very nice to not worry about the next place to stay, the next stop, the next bus, etc. for a change. We managed to be "paired" up with a couple of French Canadians and a couple of Dutch guys. We left Phnom Penh in the morning and headed down the Mekong for about 5 hours, through the Cambodia/Vietnam border, and to the town of Chao Doc.

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Our "deluxe" yacht in Cambodia - just like the brochure!

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This border crossing was a little less hectic than coming into Cambodia!

The trip along the river was very scenic, passing many farms (mainly rice paddies), men tending to their water buffalo (look like oxens) and small villages. Every village greeted us with smiling children jumping up and down along the riverbank screaming "HELLO!"

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All the houses are hooked up with TVs, as you can see by the number of antennas.

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The Mekong sustains an incredible amount of life, from fishing farms to vegetable farms to rice fields to live stock. The Mekong Delta region produces 70% of Vietnam's rice, plus all the rice that they export. This all surprised us greatly considering that the river is the place where everyone washes themselves, their clothes, pets, dishes, whatever; where all waste (trash, human, etc.) is disposed of and the list could go on and on. But, I'm sure that is how things were done (and maybe still done) not so long ago in the "first worlds" of the world.

We stayed our first night in a guesthouse just outside of Chao Doc at the base of the Sam Mountain (all of 230 meters high). We hiked up to the top of Sam Mountain/big hill for sunset where we could see Cambodia to the west and the Mekong to the southeast.

The next day we went by bus to Can Tho where Amber and I went to a home stay for the evening. We were picked up from the town and taken by motor scooters to the home of the family we were to stay the night with (I (Justin) just happened to see (and be involved in) my first scooter accident, just minor rear ending, I survived unscaved!)

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Safe and sound at the home of a family of 8, we had lunch and enjoyed a little nap in the hammocks under the banana trees. In the afternoon, we took a walk through the village with Niem where we met his grandparents, who in perfect grandparent-style, fed us fresh food from their garden. Niem fired many "how do I say in English?” questions to us while telling us about the different farms in the area.

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This is called a monkey bridge - I think you can see why.

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That night we had dinner and homemade rice whiskey with the family. We ate dried fish (well I did), steamed banana flowers (we didn't even know those were edible), rice, and veggies w/tofu. One shot glass was passed around while two people would share each shot, half & half. Despite our attempts to claim our "last shot", it wasn't until the bottle was empty that we were done. Luckily, rice whiskey is not very strong (unluckily, it's not very good).

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Our Vietnamese breakfast - noodle soup and tea.

The last day we visited a floating river market, saw how rice noodles were made, and then made our way to Saigon.

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Rice Noodles drying.

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We look just like the locals!

Posted by rebmamber 04:10 Archived in Vietnam

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Comments

The fantastic photos and narration just keeps flowing! Near-homicidal jealousy notwithstanding, my vicarious journey with you sure takes the bite out of winter. You guys look great! (or is that just my reflection in the monitor) Love ~ Nate

by Valevapor

Marvelous !!!!!!!!!!!!!
UB

by UBe

We wait in anticipation for each & every travelers email we get from you. I have been forwarding them all to Norb & Shelly. It's such a shame you guys don't look like you are enjoying it at all ~ but don't worry ~ we sure are!

by caboose784

A & J
======

<ho chi minh city> - war remnants museum (one of the photographers who died in the war went to UF), tour of cu chi tunnels along with cai dai cathedral, and you can't leave ho chi minh city without a few drinks in the apocalypse now bar...

by flowwithme

"They don't care if the war is over. Remember, keep your head down." (per Gene) Gene enjoyed the pictures from Viet Nam and Cambodia and is glad to see the country has modernized since he was there in 1968.

by Bad-barry

We are really enjoying your photos and stories of your travels! Be safe! (The previous remark ended up with Barry's name for some reason!)

by Bad-barry

Hi guys. Its me Todd. What an adventure you guys are having. Everyone loves reading this blog, keep it up.

by Bad-barry

Anne says Hi too.

by Bad-barry

Who would have ever thought that you would be safer in Viet Nam than in Denmark? Not your Dad!
Wonderful travelogue, can't wait for the "coffee table book". Much love,
T&L

by ringwoot

wonderful stunning photos. i cant do w/out them. it makes the cold winter so bright and sunny and warm. if you were a photograpy web site id love you like photography. you're so delicisiously yummy you photos. it brings to mind a song about ho chi minh city. a one, a two a one two three... ho ee o ho chi minh love me photo of ho chi minh gonna go go to ho chi min la la la the hair on my chin... rice and spice and ho chi minh! love you sooooooo much !

by iwannafly

Great pictures! The difference between Cuba and Viet Nam is that the motorcycles are bigger in Cuba. Take care.

by MadCaptJim

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