Saturday, April 21, 2007

Chau Doc, Vietnam - 20Apr07

From Cambodia to Vietnam, by Mekong River

i bought the ticket from Capitol tour at USD 7. It was mentioned as 'express' boat, but it was a slow boat. The bus to the river supposed to set off by 8am, but like usual, there was a delay for 40 minutes. The first hour of the road was ok, but the other one hour towards the end of the journey, due to the construction of the road, it was bumpy and very dusty. The aircon of the mini van was not working, so we had to choose either heat or dust.

The slow boat took around 2 hours to reach the custom of Cambodia. The guide from Capitol tour told us what to do, so no problem. We left our bags in the boat. This continued with another probably 15 minutes of boat ride, then we reached Veitnamese border. We had to carry our own bags, as there was a change of boat. We paid a 2000 Dong to get a piece of whatever paper to the custom or whatever government agency (i did not understand what is said by the guide, so i did not know who and what we paid for). i changed USD 1 to Dong with the guide because the rate was not good, 1 USD to 15000Dong. Then we handed over our passport to the Vietnamese guide and said bye bye to the Cambodian guide. We was asked to wait in a cafe for the guide to get our passport stamped. It was around 1pm then, the restaurant staff would show you their menu, so it is up to you to buy something or not. Price was around USD 1 - 2 (Luckiliy i got my own food). After half an hour, we got our passports backed, carried our backpacks for X ray and we were on the other boat. This boat ride took us almost 2 hours to reach Chau Doc and was more scenic than the previous Mekong ride then.

The guide gave out a brochure (from Sinh Cafe) regarding on Mekong Delta Tour. No hard selling, just let him know if you wanted to join. i took a 2 Days 2 Nights tour. It was around 4.30pm by the time we got to Chau Doc. So i got this night for 'free', then tomorrow night for 'free' at Can Tho too. This trip was USD 26, i supposed to pay another USD 10 for single room, but the guide waived it off because of i am a Malaysian and solo female.

i walked around Chau Doc town once i settled down. There was a beautiful buddhist temples and i walked around the market. The biggest problem i found here was, i have nothing to eat. People don't understand English or Chinese and i couldn't find vegetarian food. i ended up bought a lot of fruits as my meal and back up supplies.

The cottages by Mekong River.

The kids are normally keen to waive at foreigners.

The "Express Boat".

1.) Food: 35000D
2.) Package tour including accommodation: USD 26
3.) Others: 2000D
<1 USD = 15000D ; 10 USD = 15500D>

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