Southern Vietnam : Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta Region
2.12.2016 Train Ride to HCMC
We had 4 days left on our visa. With an early arrival of 5am. We were able to spend a full day and night here before leaving for the Mekong Delta region the next day.
We ended the day with a drive around the lighted glitzy parts of downtown. It was a fabulous day! Thanks, Minh Minh & family of Tran!
Binh Phloc Xuan (Mekong Delta Region)
We found Truc's homestay on Airbnb. It was a short but worthwhile stay. The travel there was very enjoyable. Odd at first because getting on the bus was confusing. We went to the counter to buy tickets but somehow it was followed by an angry argument between a lady who stepped in to 'help' us and the man behind the counter. Then we waited at the right place but they didn't allow us to get on the bus until after the bus left?! Eventually, we had to walk over to where the bus stopped, get on, only to get off once we were settled. Rushed to another bus, had to pay the guy extra for putting our luggage at the bottom. At that point, i was upset and called Minh Minh to help explain what was going on. It was a bad reception and i couldn't hear well. So, we confirmed with the people inside the bus and Alvin followed it on his phone.
Early next morning, we went with Truc to visit a nearby floating market. A friend of Truc's mom had a boat and willing to spend a few hours with us on the river. There are too many around SE Asia that are set up for tourists whereas this is the real thing. There is a really good video online made by a Vietnamese journalist about this market in particular. She was highlighting the problems of cyclical poverty especially for the children. I'll link it as soon as i find it again.
We hopped on a sleeper bus which Truc had to bargain down on our behalf. Once at Chau Doc, we were able to walk to our hotel and enjoyed air conditioning! Truc recommended we contact a travel agent to cross the border but having looked into it and read some accounts online, we thought to try ourselves. It meant taking a local bus to the border crossing town of Ha Tien. Finding someone with a vehicle to take us to the border. Try not to get cheated with fees. Find a way to Kep in Cambodia which is about an hour away from the border.