07.12.2011 - 10.12.2011
So after a sad goodbye to Bina and Heather who got off the bus in Mui Ne, and after ploughing through some horrific traffic I arrived in Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City... Never sure which one to call it. I had booked into the same hostel as Ness, Dan and Owen and luckily I bumped into them as soon as I arrived at the hostel. Our room was in another section of the hostel which was down a complete labyrinth of alleys and after 3 days of staying there I still wasn't able to find the place on my own!
I had heard Saigon was worse than Hanoi in terms of the crazy traffic and crossing the street proved again to be a matter of taking your life into your own hands! We somehow managed to navigate our way through the thousands of bikes and buses and around to the local market where we all got badly ripped off in one way or another - me over a pair of ali baba pants. Sadly I didn't make it to either of the main museums while I was in Saigon - the reunification palace and the war museum, but I figured I'd had my fix of war museums and anti American sentiments over the last 3 weeks. We did do a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels which the North Vietnamese used during the war - pretty interesting and we got to crawl through the tunnels which was definitely not for the claustrophobic!
After our short time in Saigon the 4 of us left for Cambodia via the mekong delta which was a 2 day trip by bus and boat to phnom penh via a floating village, crocodile farm, fish farm and a few other random places. We stopped off over night in a small village and spent the night on a 'floating hotel' which turned out to be a moored boat. We some how managed to find the most amazing restaurant that evening where surprise surprise no one spoke English and we were the only westerners in the place but they always seem to have the best food even though I'm never quite sure what I'm going to get!
Crossing the boarder into Cambodia was an interesting affair with the boarder control being a small group of huts at the side of the river - not sure how they stop people from just going straight across without stopping... We got across problem free but only after 2 hours of sitting around and then we finally motored on in our fast boat to Phnom Penh which turned out to be a pretty long and cramped 3 hour journey!
Goodbye Vietnam and hello Cambodia!