Review: Now my favorite Vietnam. part 6 From Vietnam to Cambodia via the Mekong Delta
Previous part part 5 One day in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon)
So, the next phase of our journey consisted of bought for $ 84 in Ho Chi Minh city (paid with dollars which you gladly accept and in hotels and travel agencies, not Vietnamese dongs) three-day tour of the Mekong Delta with final destination in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.
Left early in the morning on a big tour bus. In the bus we were the only Russian-speaking. The rest of the audience consisted of French, Germans, Britons and all other Europeans and one third of our group was Chinese. As it turned out, most of our group broke off from us on the second day of the trip, since they bought a two-day tour without a trip to Cambodia. We and five other people went on the third day in Cambodia. Also during the tour, we have changed three of the guide who passed us from hand to hand.
Because the trip started from Ho Chi Minh city, tour the stories of a lot of things interesting about the past and present of the city, although English is our first guide, a young man to understand me was hard enough. For those who do not speak English, I would advise not to fear and not to refuse from such trips, because it is still all very interesting, and very much appreciated and without language.
Our first stop after about 4 hours was on a farm where they showed us plants, drink free tea, local honey and some local liquor made from honey. Of course all this is offered to purchase, but it wasn't necessary. Before us were made by the artists who performed local folk songs.
Then we were loaded into boats and we swam through the channels of the Mekong river to the other stop something like a home factory for the production of the famous Vietnamese sweets from coconut milk and coconut oil.
We were shown the whole production process, if you can call it that, because everything is done manually. Even wrapped and Packed each piece of candy by hand. Interestingly, the first finished piece of candy wrapped in a thin rice paper, which can be eaten along with the candy, and then in brown paper. Of course, here, too, offered to buy the freshest finished product. Candy these are just like coconut, and with different flavour fillings: chocolate, honey and others. And even with pepper! We bought a package of classic chocolates and enjoyed them all the way. Then, when we returned to Saigon, we saw these candies on sale, and, of course, not at all surprised that they were cheaper than factory. But it did not upset by this.
Farther out on the boat, we made one more stop at the fruit farm. Then we continued our way back on the bus.
Late in the afternoon we stopped at some temple, where we walked around and took selfies for me to happy Buddha (Lucky Buddha).
And then they brought us to the hotel and left until morning, pre-acquainted with the situation around. I don't even remember what city we stayed in, but remember that the cuisine of this city is famous for its signature dish of rats. Fortunately, it is prepared not from the wild rats, and from specially grown. At least so they say. The hotel was very basic, the room without Windows, but more than justified the price we paid for the tour.
The next day, after rising in the morning and having Breakfast in the hotel more than normal food (Breakfast was included in the price), we are under the direction of another guide went not to the bus and to the pier. Next we had to continue the trip by boat and see the floating market.
Floating market, this is a wonderful and interesting place. This is not the market like in Thailand, rather for tourists. This is a real market, and it wholesale. Boat owners sell fruits and vegetables in bulk, and they do it with boats because I do not have to pay taxes and rent.
Entire families and even Pets living on boats.
As told by the guide, they have houses and land on land, but here they just work. Here life is in full swing in full and even hosts promotions from boats.
Floating market we really liked. It must have been one of the most interesting places for all our journey through Vietnam.
Then we swam to the place where they make rice noodles. We were shown the whole process of cooking:
Then swam for another farm, this time a fruit farm that grows mainly durian.
In the end we landed on the shore, where most of our group from the us "fell off" (those that took Dwingeloo tour), and we boarded the minibus and went to Chau Doc, a border town in Vietnam and a gate to Cambodia.
While waiting for the send mikroautobusa, snack dish with a snake. The dish was very cheap, so tasteless. From the snake there was almost only skin.
On the way we stopped at the temple on the mountain in the vicinity Caudata views across the border already on the ground in Cambodia. To climb the mountain to the temple had to walk and quite high.
Then we were taken to their hotels (the hotel was already paid for the tour and was pretty good: very big room or even a balcony), and the second half of the day and night was at our disposal. We took advantage of this and walked around, Chugoku.
I do not understand it, but Chau Doc me himself in love. A small provincial town, and some have a lot, no special attractions. Moderately dirty and well maintained. But something about him caught, and that understand and can't explain. So sorry that there was not enough time to meet him, but I will definitely go back.
The next morning we are in the hotel came another new guide, and all of our group, because we were the last who "collected". And again we went on foot to the pier. Our future path is again continued on the boat.
Before heading finally to Cambodia, we had two more stops. One of them, fish farm, floating houses, fish are grown, nothing much was but the other was just super. We visited the village of Cham. As told by the guide, in particular the village of Chama, come from Malaysia, arrived in Vietnam and live their lives and refuse the benefits of civilization.
We spent some time walking around the village, got acquainted with the lifestyle of the locals and even tried on their outfits.
Tourist arrivals were immediately surrounded by local kids and began to offer some cookies. Interestingly, located immediately in the village, a local resident warned us that we do not buy them, because they prepare them from rotten eggs. I thought they all at the same time...
But I felt sorry for these kids (they don't speak English) that we bought from them a cookie, then tossed it. Still here are sold all sorts of homemade Souvenirs like pendants, trinkets, bracelets made of shells, wood and of something else, one dollar for the product.
After the village we already went straight to Cambodia. The guide went with us to the border, where he organized us a visa. It was no problem to make a visa independently, which costs $ 20, but the guide offered to do it for $ 22. No one in our boat has not abandoned its services, and so are we. She collected our passports, money and photos and had disappeared for half an hour while we waited in a café on a floating customs point. She returned our passports already stamped on exit from Vietnam and their visas. Then we sailed on the boat without a guide, but we were joined by a woman, apparently a Cambodian girl, who looked after us for the rest of the way. We swam some more and landed to passport control and verification of visas on the territory of Cambodia. The procedure was quick and after 10 minutes we again were on the way and finally sailed in the waters of Cambodia.
It was wonderful. We sailed a very long time along the different villages and fields. And then he jumped ashore, local residents and a welcome wave. Never in my life have not seen so happy swimming by the boat. It was very fun and enjoyable. We too waved in response.
What a pity that it was impossible to approach to such a village walk and meet locals. But I hope still ahead.
We sailed 6 hours, until it finally landed. Then we got put in the van, and we drove another two hours to Phnom Penh. Drove into the city after dark.
The end point of our route was a hotel, which almost entirely stopped the van. Here we began to offer rooms in this hotel.
Actually it was a trick of the hotel. The minibus did not stop in the street and stopped right inside the hotel and blocked the exit. Newly arrived tourists specifically block the hotel to take them in the act and to lease rooms. We viewed the room (offered quite a large room for $ 15 with a window and a TV without Breakfast), and in principle it was nothing besides that to the room the hotel had to get through many corridors and turns, some of which are not even covered. So we decided to start to walk around and see the other hotels around. When he returned to them, the exit was already free, and we took to the streets of the capital of Cambodia. But that is another story.Continued: part 7 Two days in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)...
About hotels in Vietnam have made such a conclusion that the service from stardom does not. 3*, 5* - all service is on top, everywhere You are friendly and will fulfill any request. And the number of stars indicates only the location(proximity) to the beach and the size of the garden.
Not to mention, about favorite Vietnamese fish sauce. Its worth a try despite the smell. But to visit the places where the sauce is produced, would not recommend, is a very specific smell. What I saw on the street, in the sun there are large barrels of fish, and fermented:).
Dalat highly recommend to visit. 1 every 2 years there is carried out a festival of colors, is very well maintained, green and cozy town. ...
We were in Saigon just 2 short days, and then flew to Phu Quoc island - already had bought tickets. When I flew out of Saigon, the only thing I was sorry that we stayed so little! Gave myself a promise that next time we will spend in this beautiful city at least a week! So I want to advise those who are planning a trip to Vietnam and will buy tickets on their own - take on Saigon more time, it's worth it! ...
Glad you liked Saigon, I really like it too. But I would be careful with recommendations about "least a week". Still, not everyone will like spending time in a noisy bustling city instead of the beach. Two full days for most of them will be enough, and those who love other people, large cities can linger a little longer. ...
About a week - I wrote that we would like there is so much to be. :) And of course, to each his own! But there are so many museums and the city itself is so interesting that walk-not to deregulate. Next we go to Vietnam no less than 3 weeks. You have a good photo, immediately reminded of our journey.
Jane_M, we too were at the factory where they make fish sauce. Yes, the smell of it is still the same! But it is possible to buy in addition to sauce a lot of good and very tasty sun-dried local fish. It's in Fukuoka. And, by the way, Fukuoka is prohibited to take out this sauce. ...
Nifiga . Why? ...
He googled and found that the earlier airlines in Fukuoka was used ATR72 aircraft, where the Luggage area combined with a passenger. And when the bottles crashed, the cabin echoing the "mouthwatering aroma" best Fukuoka fish sauce . And then it was forbidden to export. Actually, I always pour the sauce in plastic bottles, when being taken home. So safer and easier without glasses. ...
I didn't know about the true reasons for the ban! :) Now I know!
And we are from Vietnam brought a local ground coffee and bought them special cups with lids and filters for brewing.
Here, too, by the way, advice to those who are going to Vietnam and thinks that you can bring out there simply amazing coffee! I'm not a fan and not a coffee-drinker, but the Vietnamese coffee will never give up. :) ...
Yes, Vietnamese coffee is one of the best in the world, IMHO. ...
Uhh posomtrel photo, already longing attacked! ...
I have a holiday to Vietnam is only the most positive memories and emotions. Oh, the beautiful beach of Nha Trang, we were here in June, rested perfectly. For travelers chose the hotel Den Long Do Hotel, the conditions are excellent, the service is good. Of the trip brought a bunch of Souvenirs and delicacies, in particular, found the shop "Alco House", where he bought the local bottling alcohol in bottles that you can carry in the airport. Loved the nature and the hospitality of the locals, sightseeing and culture. ...