KPC-SGN Day 6: Mekong Delta, The Mother River of Vietcong

A day to leave Phnom Penh and head to Vietnam. I did not have any clue where was the place that we were heading too that morning. I was reading the day trip brochure regarding the 2 days 1 night tour to Mekong Delta. The place that we were going to stop for that night was called Chau Doc, one of the Vietnam-Cambodia bordering town that was built along the Mekong river. As I did not plan for such a trip to this village, I was leaving it to my luck and see where our guide would bring us to.

Departed from Capitol guest house early in the morning, we boarded a van to transfer us to the nearby jetty. We were being sent to the jetty located at one of the remote village some 45 minutes drive from the city. We were being dropped off in front of a local Cambodian house and I was a bit confused with that the guide was telling us. He was pointing at the house and said "jetty, jetty". I seen only a house but no jetty at all and was about to give him a "F"-word. He started to walk into the house and kept rushing us into it and I was a bit pissed with him as I really don't understand what he was trying to say and I hate being rushed by people to do something that he did not explain well to me.

It was getting worse when he was shouted at us to be quick as boat is about to depart. I followed him into the house and he leaded us all to the back yard and to my big surprise - It was a JETTY! Oh my gosh, how could you have imagine that there is a jetty at the backyard of this wooden house? I rushed into the boat as the boatman was making the horn sounds like war horn. I was wondering in my mind that what on earth was making them so rush. While my mind was still thinking about what the tuk tuk drivers had told me last night, the boatman started to move the boat to the middle of the river and started speeding down stream. Good bye Phnom Penh... Bye Kampuchea, I really had fun in my last 5 days here!

I was wondering if that was the Mekong river and I got it confirmed through google maps :p. We were on a boat speeding down stream on Mekong river towards Vietnam border - the Song Tien Custom. It was a sunny day with clear sky thus making it excellent weather for snapping the scenery along Mekong River.

Along the river, most of the lands at both sides of the banks were rice fields.

After some 2:30 hours ride on boat, we arrived at the Song Tien Immigration Custom. Our Cambodian boatman dropped us off the platform to the custom and then drove off. So from this part on, we were stepping on the border of Vietnam. Our vietnamese guide was already there welcoming us. He was acting so fast in getting all our passports ready to clear the custom. Due to the reason that the officers were having lunch that time at 11:00am, we had to sit there waiting for the office be opened backed at 11:30am.

So while waiting for them to be backed, we sit there and chatting with our guide. It was so coincidentally that he used to study in Malaysia too and he was able to speak to me a few of malay words :p. Funny lad! It was a small customs office and not long after, the officers were backed. We got our passports chopped with visa and the boat to Chau Doc was already down there waiting for us. So we got our luggages backed and boarded the board transfer to Chau Doc. Man, I was really without any clue where am I heading to that time... (sweating)!

After another 1 hour ride, we arrived at the Chau Doc town. Man, it was only 12:20 in the noon. I was not expecting that we would have arrived so early as the tour operator backed at Capitol Tours told me that the trip will end around 5pm in Chau Doc. But holy shit, we were there right after noon as they changed the slow boat to a speed boat for the ride. I was expecting that it would be a long day ride on boat while we can sit on the upper deck of the slow boat, relaxing, sub bathing all the way down to Chau Doc in the evening. Damn, I felt cheated. We were being dropped off at the Delta Floating Hotel. I got my room and after putting down my luggage and we went out for lunch at the town. The floating hotel was just parking right next to the main street of Chau Doc town.

It was right at the hottest time of the day, first view of Chau Doc town. It looks like a small town similar to those of 80's town in Malaysia. After walking for a while under the sun looking for restaurant to settle our lunch, we did not want to continue the hunt for good vietnamese food for our first vietnamese lunch as it was just too hot and humid. So we simply picked one of the restaurant and ordered our lunch there. It was a big surprise to me that Vietnameses don't really speak English. So we ended up pointing here and there for food. It was the hardest time for me to order for lunch as they don't provide menu and they don't speak English either. HELP!

I went backed to my room while others chose to walk around under the sun. Sorry, I was too tired and it was just too hot for me too. I was sitting at the balkony in my room and staring at the ferries transfering people to both sides of the river banks. I was day dreaming, I was leaving my mind blank and I was really relaxing ... Moment after, it started to rain... It was raining so heavily and I guessed that was the reason why it was so hot and humid hour before. I was sitting there in my room enjoying my time while it was raining outside.

In the evening after the rain, we went out for a walk around the town again.

Students finished school around 5:30pm in the evening and they were all clycling home. They looked so nice on their uniform! I really like it so much as it looks so different from our uniforms backed at home which makes me look so dumb when I put it on =.=

Along the streets, the locals were selling food there. Me and my mates stopped by one of those stalls to try out their famous Vietnamese coffee - Ka Phe.

I ordered from one of the hawkers, beef noodle soup - Mi Pho. To be honest, it was not so good for my taste. I just finished half of it with most of the meats untouched :). It was not something like a Pho Bo that I was expecting - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup that I have tried before at Melbourne. So it ended up as a disappointing dinner.

It was raining again in the night so nothing much we can do but to go to bed early for the trip to Chau Doc market and local Muslim's minority village the next morning. So good night Chau Doc, it was a relaxing day by the river.