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To Cambodia

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 14 December 2005 | Views [673]

Hi all,

 So Saigon is a town in the city of Ho Chi Minh -  Now that that's cleared up, I'll fill you in on what I have been doing. I leave Saigon tomorrow for Phnom Penh in Cambodia. It is an 8 hour bus ride, leaving at 8am. Three of us are going together, myself, Billy and Steve, so I think it will be an interesting trip. I like Vietnam a lot, but I think that I am ready to leave Saigon - it has pulling power, but it doesn't have the same feel as Hanoi, which is so culturally rich that I easially spent days and days there. Saigon is too frantic and crazy, and it's hard to relax and take it easy at times. I'm really looking forward to Cambodia though - many people have said that it was the highlight of their journey, and I am expecially keen to see the killing fields, S21 (Pol Pot's prison / interrogation complex) in order to learn more about the recent past of the country, and also maybe to squeeze of a few rounds from an AK47 down at the shooting range (when in Rome....). After that I will head up to Sien Reap, and the majestic temples of Angkor.

And so to today, and my last one in Saigon, and Vietnam. Dave and I were up early because we were booked on a tour to see some of the Mekong Delta, and some of the villages that make it their home. After a short bus ride, we boarded boats and took off down one of the many narrow channels of the delta. It is quite eerie as you sail down the channel. They are very narrow, and huge coconut trees cover you from the sky at times, making for a real jungle experience. The first village we came across was called Ben Tre. The tribe is dedicated to the cultivation of coconuts, and this fruit really is their lives. They eat the stuff, drink the milk and burn the shells for warmth. They also make  candy from it, which by all accounts is famous, because it is made for export to China and Japan, amoungst others. They make the sweets by hand, and it looked a painstaking process. With the shell fibre they also make colourful clothing and shoes. Now I thought that there was only one kind of coconut, but apparently not, and we listened as our guide told us 101 things about the same, some of it interesting stuff.

After that we went to a second town for dinner, where we were introduced to a huge phython, which the owner insisted that we wear around our necks. We all did this, and it was fine, but later on we had the misfortune to see some animals locked up in tiny cages, bored out of their minds - depressed by this, somewhat, we moved on deeper into the delta for some more exploring and picture taking.

There's only so much I can say about the delta tour - the scenery was magnificent at times, and the singing villagers in Ben Tre were really entertaining, friendly and welcoming. This day will probably rank as one of my favorites in Vietnam, but I am now looking forward to the next stage: Cambodia.

Tags: Adventures

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