Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Viet Nam, Mekong Delta
From Cambodia I decided to take the slow route into Saigon via the Mekong Delta - a maze of waterways and canals and tons of greenery. I'd like to say I planned it all out, but mostly the idea of slow boat upriver rather than a bus that I might be sick on yet again (Naturally, I go on raving about the food in Sihanouk Ville and end up ill the last day enroute to the border.)
The delta towns were a much appreciated break from the gringo trail I was following in Cambodia. There is no one set path or way through and in each town I never felt like it was overrun with western tourists. The floating markets in the mornings were great - mostly farmers selling fruits. I could not get enough of the Mangoes!! Also had fun testing my balancing skills (which are pretty suspect given my clumsy nature) on all the "monkey bridges" that connect little waterways around the towns.
While planning this trip I had heard the Delta was not to be missed and I would definitely recommend at least 3 days ferrying around the towns. A beautiful and peaceful introduction to Viet Nam. A nice calm before the complete INSANITY that is Saigon. I will have to take a picture to post on the traffic circles here. So many motorbikes going every possible direction. And nobody EVER stops so to cross any street in this city you just have to take a breath, stare the traffic in the face, and GO. As long as you keep your pace and keep going they will all zoom around you. Its unreal. Friends who have been here before me warmed me of this; But it's a whole other thing to experience first hand. Terrifying. Puts New York taxi drivers to shame.