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From the beach to the city

overcast 29 °C

On one of our last days in Sihanoukville we went on a snorkeling trip, which included visits to two different coral reefs and three different islands as well as a stop for a fresh Baraquada BBQ on one of the islands. Luckily enough, two of our six fellow passengers were working full time as scuba instructors in California so we were given a more professional tour than was first intended.
Two days later we left Sihanoukville with a minibus headed for Can Tho, the capital of the south Vietnamese Mekong region. We had to switch minibus once and the driver of the second bus was driving at Schumacher speed but unfortunately without any of the skills. He even overtook an ambulance which had its lights flashing and sirens on (whereby Pia wanted to send him off in an ambulance of his own.) Luckily enough for the driver, Pia was in the back of the 16 seater minibus which meant that there were 25 people between him and her, including a guy sitting on the drivers seat behind the driver.

Somehow we all managed to survive the trip and stepped out in Can Tho 12 and a half hours later. Almost nobody in Can Tho spoke English but as we knew that we were going to arrive late we had already booked and paid our hotel over the internet and thereby avoided the hassle of having to do it through sign language. Instead, we took a taxi from the bus station (well spent 50 cents) and were checked in within half an hour.

Can Tho itself is a wonderful city built around the arms of the Mekong river and during our visit there we hired a small boat with driver to take us through the floating markets on the river. The trip was wonderful and on a small boat like ours that is able to pass through everywhere you get a really good insight of the everyday life of people living on and beside the river. It also gave us an opportunity to visit a rice-paper factory that was located on the outskirts of the city. 2011-11-09_07_16_52.jpgThe following day we found a combined pizzeria and spa (pizza is one of the most expensive items on the menu here and costs three times as much as a good 200g steak) and got ourselves two "Swedish massages" with Sauna

Two days later we took a coach (after swearing never to set our feet in a Vietnamese minibus again) to Saigon, nowadays known as Ho Chi Minh City. Here we found a guesthouse which at first looked quite worn down, located in a really small alley of the main street but turned out to be run by a lovely Vietnamese grandmother. Although a bit racist (for example she told us never to trust the Thais and that she never lets black people stay in her house) she takes great care of her house and speaks ok English (which is very rare as the Vietnamese are much worse than the Khmers and the Thais but apparently she had worked as an English teacher at one point) and fluent French as she was raised in a French school in French Indochina. Fortunately it started raining massively soon so that my "Il pleut!" came to good use. However, it didn't stop raining as quickly and after a couple of hours the streets were flooded (only about two dm so it wasn't really a problem but a lot of the mopeds died and had to be led which made the traffic much more calm). We took some pictures when the streets were still drivable but much more unpleasant as each moped is turned into a fountain.

We are staying two more days here in Saigon and then we're buying an "open" bus ticket (one that you can get off at any of the stops on the way and then catch the next bus without having to buy a new ticket as long as the whole trip takes less than a month) on the route to Hanoi and our first planned stop is Mui Ne.


Posted by PiaErik 01:09 Archived in Vietnam Tagged boat snorkeling mekong sihanoukville

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Hej. Tack för den trevliga uppdateringen, hoppas att ni har lika kul som det verkar, tror nästan att det är dags för mamma och jag att göra en längre resa än weekendresan till Tallin vilken just avslutats (den var iof helt Ok). Var försiktiga och skriv snart igen. Puss.

by Peter Rask

Hallo ihr zwei! Schön, wieder einmal etwas von euch zu hören. Ihr scheint ja wirklich eine ganze Menge zu erleben - bin beeindruckt von den Bildern, Vietnam scheint wirklich ein tolles Land zu sein. Ich sag halt wie immer: passt gut auf euch auf, genießt die Zeit und wir freuen uns riesig auf ein Wiedersehen mit euch. Träum in letzter Zeit oft von dir, Pia.... Bussi Mama

by Karin Dold-Egger

Thanks for the lovely travel-log, and fantastic pictures. Good to hear from you, and hard to believe that this is the same country that one generation ago suffered an incredibly cruel and long lasting war, injuring a whole population. Miss you kram Eva/mamma

by Eva Rask

Ciao! Vad roliga grejer ni gör, besöker rispappersfabriker och korallrev. Här börjar det bli mörkt på kvällarna eller tja, vid klockan fyra. Markus och Sigrid kom inte hem med någon älg från sin jaktvecka så vi lever på nudlar :P
Summan av vårt renoveringsarbete hittills: tapeten är nedtagen på en (1) vägg. Tid till avslut i nuvarande tempo: sju år, fyra månader och tio dagar.
Jag längtar tills man kan åka skidor igen, ont om snö än så länge.
Puss och kram, Gunilla

by Gunilla

@P Härligt! Om det inte blir Etiopien nästa gång så är Vietnam att rekommendera!
@K Ja uns gehts fantastisch, Vietnam und Kambodscha sind definitiv die schönsten Länder so weit! Immer noch schlechtes oder gutes auch? Wir freuen uns auch auf euch und schnee!
@E Yes we visited the war museum yesterday and there were lots of pictures of the places we're visiting right now and how they looked 35 and/or 65 years ago. We also learned about the horrors of dioxin warfare..
@G Vår kost innehåller för tillfället också lite mer nudlar än älgkött. Härligt, då har man sommarjobb under hela studietiden! (och kanske extra under ATen?) Jag längtar också efter snön, köpte ny skidjacka igår (som försäljaren uppgav hade "fallen of the lorry" på väg från North Face fabriken här utanför stan.)

by PiaErik

Hy es 2! Mah dia fotos sein ja gewaltig! I mecht o im november am strand liega! :-( es wearats sicher volle ausistecha bei ins bleichgesichter! :-) aber solang dauerts iatz ja gott sei dank numma bis es wieder da seits! Gfrei mi schua volle! :-) hoff bei enk isch alles ok, dia fotos vom hochwasser sein schua bissali furchterregend! Fest auf enk aufpassa gall! Und immer fleißig fotos mocha! :-) dann bis zum nächsta mal! Machts enk no a schiane zeit! Vermiss di soooo fest mausale und da erik natürlich a! :-) hdgftl fettes bussale und a riesige umarmung ans andere ende der welt!

by Tamara

Hej på er!
Jag är väldigt imponerad av hur ni två tar er fram och så mycket ni upplever. Farfar och jag har i dag 25/11 kommit hem från två veckors vistelse i Egypten, men vi har faktiskt bara solat och badat.. Nästa gång tar vi er med så det blir litet mera upplevelser också!
Kram Momma

by Inger Rask

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