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Taxi » Ferry » Cyclo » Motorbike » Mini-van » Ferry » Taxi

VIETNAM | Friday, 18 April 2008 | Views [2704]

Sometime you just can't know how it's going to work out. Today we had planned to get to Cantho, knew it must be possible, but also knew that there weren't any obvious or direct buses, so were going to have to make it up as we went along.

This is usually a rather good travel experience, but the unknown was our two children.

From Ben Tre we caught a taxi back to the ferry crossing that takes you over towards Mytho. Once on the other side we were a little surprised to find no buses or taxi's waiting but eventually caught a couple of Cyclo's to the Cantho bus terminal ... only to be told that there was only one bus a day and that leaves at 5am.

Ho hum.

Then your average Vietnamese bus station hussler said he could take us 5Km up the road to where there were mini-buses heading to Cantho. The only catch, and of course there was a catch, was we had to travel by motorbike. So we eventually squeezed Riu between Dad and the rider on one bike and Kai between Mum and another rider in true Vietnamese fashion with the strollers across the rider and sticking out wildly and the big rucksacs following on yet a third bike. Off down narrow lanes and backstreets full of schoolkids in Ao Dai on their way home at lunch, regretting that this would have been a fantastic way to see this part of the country.

We found one of the stopping points for the Saigon to Cantho buses, and when one finally stopped had to (of course) negotiate the absurd price the driver was asking (D750,000 for the 4 of us) down to something more rerasonable (D500,00) which was still no doubt way over the odds but was significantly better than being straned on the side of a highway in the middle of the Delta for some time.

At the next ferry we got 'befriended' by a strange woman who then had the driver drop us off right on the outskirts of Cantho, which really wasn't very helpful. Ah, yet another hustler, this time of the boat ride variety. She even followed us to the hotel when we hailed a taxi and was somewhat bemused when we said we weren't in the least interested.

The Asia Hotel is recommended in the LP guidebook and is listed as #2 on TripAdvisor. You'd think between those two you couldn't go wrong: instead we got an old, pokey carpeted room, stale as though it hadn't been slept in for weeks. Pondering what to do, we went for a late lunch and then spied a new looking hotel called the Kim Tho which was spotlessly new and clean and at $60 quite the bargain.

We later learned that they weren't even officially open when we checked in and only opened on the third day of our stay.

Tags: cantho, cyclo, experience, hustler, journey, mekong, mytho, vietnam


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