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HCMC to Phnom Penh via the Mekong Delta - 11th & 12th June

CAMBODIA | Sunday, 14 June 2009 | Views [1559]

Hello - I know I've missed a bit, but I want to keep up to date and hopefully I'll fill in the very busy Vietnam time shortly. Thursday 11th June We had organised a tour with Delta tours to go to Phnom Penh with an overnight stay in the Mekong Delta. Bus picked us up at about 7.30am and we drove out to some of the islands in the Mekong Delta and had a tour around on a slow boat. It was nice because there were only about 7 people on the boat - Not like our last Mekong Slow boat in Laos! After lunch we were supposed to have a bike ride but the bus on the way to the islands had gotten delayed in some road works - so no time. We headed back to our bus and then to a fast boat which took us to our hotel for the evening, a floating hotel in Chau Doc. The floating hotel is really more glamourous sounding that it is. I couldn't really tell we were floating on water! We met some Australian guys, Brad and Jeremy from Melbourne, and we all went over to the busier side of Chau Doc. We got the car/motorbike ferry over and nearly got run over in the charge to get off. It was very Vietnamese and we didn't see any other westerns. Also it was interesting to see some Muslim Vietnamese. Had dinner at a cafe with a few beers. Shona noticed that the travel agents downstairs at the cafe were the same tour company and asked them about the last ferry back. They said they would get a boat to take us directly back to our floating hotel. Fab. When we were on the boat Shona realised that she'd left her camera so she had to go back again. Meanwhile I was getting lots of tips on Singapore from Brad, who works there. [Sorry - just realised most of you won't know but I had a bit of a change of plan in HCMC - I decided to travel to Cambodia with Shona and then go to Singapore and get the train back up to Bangkok making a few stops in Malaysia on the way, probably KL and Penang but I've still not decided - but I'm definitely going to Singapore on Tuesday as I've now booked my flight] Another quick beer and then off to bed. Shona and I went back to the room to find a Cockroach party! Not very pleasant, went back to get some bug spray to fummigate the room. Industrial stuff not nice. Room was hot as no A/C - but was pretty tired out so not to long before I fell asleep. Friday 12th June In order to get an extra hour in bed, yes I am that tired out, we opted to miss the early morning fishing village trip. So our fast boat left for the Cambodian border at about 8.15am. I'd changed the last of my dong into US dollars after breakfast. Not a very good exchange 19,000 dong for 1$. Boat to the border took about an hour, First we had to offically leave Vietnam and for those who were getting Visa on arrival to get the Visa here. One girl in our group had a problem as she had been issued a Vietnam visa at home in Oz and had glued it into her passport and the officials weren't happy but we didnt really understand what the problem was but we were there for about an hour. Then a very short 5 min ride in the boat to get stamped into Cambodia. My passport is starting to look pretty exciting now! Back on the boat it was another hour or so before we were transfered to a bus to take us the final 45 mins into Phnom Penh. Cambodia was not what I was expecting. It was very green in the countryside along the river, but the houses looked very poor. From the road we noticed how really flat the country is. Driving into Phnom Penh it was a lot more developed than I think I had imagined. Quite a busy city with lots of Cars and motorbikes on the roads. We stayed at the Royal Guesthouse, we were still with the Australian guys and decided to hire our tuktuk to take us straight out to see the Killing Fields. I don't know how much you know about Cambodian modern history but this is probably one of the most disturbing and immediate places I've ever been to. Approx 20,000 people were killed in Choeung Ek and put into mass graves. You can still see human bones and rags all over the site. There is Stupa built as a memorial which is filled with human skulls from the sight. It sounds really goulish and it is but I believe its important to see it, though I was in tears and fairly overwhelmed.

We all felt like we needed a drink so we got the TukTuk to drop us off directly at the FCC, Foreign Correspondence Cluc, which has happy hour (5-7pm) with half price cocktails. We got there at just after 5 and managed 4 drinks. Not to mention that Shona and i felt really out of place in a fairly nice bar with our sweaty shorts and tops on. It is so so hot in Cambodia.

I then wobbled back to the hotel to get showered and changed to go for dinner. We hadn't eaten anything since breakfast! We went to a Thai/Khmer restaurant called Lemongrass, just off the river which was absolutely fantastic exactly what we both need. Thai & Khmer Curry - Awesome.

Went to bed with a hangover from my earlier drinking on an empty stomach!

We did also decided that we would go to Siem Reap tomorrow that we could have a rest day on Sunday before doing a full on Angkor Wat day on Monday.

Tags: sightseeing

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