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Sunday 16 Mar 2003
Can Tho, Vietnam

Good Morning Vietnam!

I decided that the best way to approach Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) was to take the scenic route along the Mekong River from Phnom Penh, rather than endure another extruciating 10 hour journey on Cambodian roads!!

Last night I stayed in Chau Doc (in Vietnam, just beside the Cambodian border), sharing a (large) room with 3 other guys and it was a damn nice place. On the strength of this experience the bunch of us decided to take the 2 day tour offered by the tour company we were using to get to Vietnam. The 2 day tour takes in some of the most beautiful sights in South Vietnam on the way to Ho Chi Minh city for only 22 dollars. Bargain!

The tour began today and we started in Chau Doc at 8am trekking up a nearby mountain called "Sam Mountain" to see the border between Vietnam and Cambodia (a starkly beautiful sight!). This was pretty damn exhausting and I think I sweated about 2 litres in the hot South Vietnam sun!

Afterwards we took a boat through a nearby water village and visited the "Cham" tribe village. The curious thing about these people are that they are Muslim and arabic writing/mosques are prevalent about the place! Ive taken a few photos of mosques set against a Nam skyline... pretty unexpected. The people were really friendly too (I think the Vietnamese are just as friendly as the Cambodians, if not more so, contrary to what Ive been told!)

To cap off the day, we took a boat down the Mekong River to Can Tho for several hours... getting nicely tanned while waving to the never-ending "hello"s coming from passing boats! ooh also took in a crocodile farm on the way here which was unusual... the crocs were treated fairly cruely though: left baking in the sun with only a small pond to cool off in. It was unsurprising when a croc tried to make a snap at me, Id say they fancy killing the first human they could!

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