KPC-SGN Day 7: The Crazy Buffalo @ Saigon

It was a quiet night and I was sleeping in a floating hotel on the Mekong river. Throughout the night, I can hear the engine sound from boats passing by and I sensed that the floating hotel was actually shaking as the flows were kinda strong from upstream. I guessed it was raining upstream and I hope it will not turn into heavy storm and wash us all down to the south china sea :p. It was getting so hot after mid night and I can feel that lots of mosquitoes flying around our bed. Damn I thought my left hand and leg was bitten by this blood suckers. I felt kinda itchy but nothing much I can do though. The hotel staff was charging us 5 bucks for the air-condition so we decided not to spend another $5 for something I don't think we need to pay them as I thought our tour fees already covered that. So I left the window wide opened and was enduring a night without fan to cool us down in the hot "sauna" room. With constant disturbs from mosquitoes, I was hardly asleep until 3 in the morning. That was the most terrible night of the trip.

I woke up early in the morning at 5:30am to bath myself as the guide said to us last night that the day trip will start as early as 6:30 in the morning. After packing up my stuff I was sitting at the balcony enjoying my sun rise view on Mekong river.

6:00 am

6:10 am

6:15 am

6:20 am

6:25 am - the sun rises up and sit on top of the clouds with a boat just passing by underneath it. A wonderful sun rise view @ Mekong river!

So after checking out from the hotel, we were brought backed to the same market that we went to last night during our evening walk. Man, I really feel that I was cheated by that stupid tour agent. How could it be like that? I thought we were suppose to spend most of our time on the cruise along the Mekong river down stream to Sa Dec. But anyway, nothing much we can do but to go along with the other in the group who joined the tour also.

We were right on time to see the local students going to school in their beautiful Vietnamese uniform again. Wow, I really think that was so elegant in the style and was giving me such a feeling that I am in Vietnam when they were on their bike too. Wonderful!

So this was the market that we were brought to that morning. Nothing special indeed but just another market. In fact it was very similar to those in my home town backed in Pahang, Malaysia. So nothing as interesting discovery for me over there.

Those were rat's meats according to the guide.

The sky was turning so dark during our walk in the market. At last, it started to rain and we rushed into a nearby Chinese temple to hide from the rain. It was a temple built during the colonial of China and it has heavy Chinese Buddhism influence in the architecture of the temple. Camera was not allowed in the temple so no picture was taken. We lost such a nice temple picture.

When the rain stopped, we walked backed to the hotel waiting for our boat transfer to the local Muslim minority village for a visit. It was said that those Muslims were migrated to Vietnam from either Malaysia or Indonesia and scholars still debating their origin. Well, who cares about their origin as those who was born in Chau Doc will have Chau Doc as their root. Same to us as Malaysian Chinese whose ancestors were migrated to Malaysia many years ago. Our root is not China but Malaysia as we were born in this land. It will always be my home here backed in Malaysia.

Sky turned so clear after the rain. In fact it was getting a bit hot too after the sun came out from the clouds.

The locals were staying in the boat and making it their home. So everything they do, they do it on the boat! Try to imagine how hard their life is.

It was around 10:30 in the morning after we finished the trip to the Muslim village. We were then transfered to a speedboat and started our journey to Sa Dec. I felt really bad that I was cheated by the agent. They skipped the mountain pagoda visit as well as another visit to a place called Lung XuYen and was rushing us backed to Sa Dec for a bus ride to Saigon. Damn it!

After 1:30 hour ride on speed boat, we arrived at the opposite bank of Sa Dec jetty - The Can Tho town. It was just moment past 12pm, the stupid agent dropped us off the Can Tho jetty and said "giving" us 2 hours break in Can Tho to walk around the town or take lunch. Damn it, that was because they skipped a lot of places to visit for this tour and arrived too early at Sa Dec. The bus was suppose to pick us up at 3pm but we arrived 3 hours earlier! Damn you stupid guide!

First view of Can Tho town.

We were looking for public toilet as there was no toilet on the boat. Soon we found one in the Can Tho Market. We went in as we thought it was a public toilet. Moment when I came out from the wash room, one lady was pointing at me and shown me a 2000 Dong note and kept repeating the word money. I thought she was asking me if I want to change Vietnam Dong with her. So I ignored her and walked away. Soon I heard my mate was yelling at me asking for help. I found out that the lady was in fact asking for money. Shit, we need to pay to go into toilet?! I thought it was written there public toilet and there we no sign board put on there about charges per use. Damn it, felt that these people were really crazy for money =.= !

After dinner, we went backed to the jetty waiting for our boat transfer to Sa Dec. Some local ladies were paddling their small boats and waiting for customers there. Those were actually boats to transfer passenger to the other side of the river.

Boarded our boat to Sa Dec at 2pm, we were dropped off at the jetty and the guide was leading us to the main street of the town. It started to rain again =.= ! I was wondering why it rained so frequent on that day but luckily I brought along my disposable rain coat. After 1o minutes walk from the jetty, we were asked to stop and wait in front of a shop under the rain. That was ridiculous that the bus was not arriving yet. Damn it! We waited for some 20 minutes under the rain for the bus to arrive. I quickly changed my wet cloth with a dry one and dumb my luggage bag into the bus and get a nice place next to the window and put my big ass on it. I just can't wait to arrive Saigon and have a nice bed for me to stretch my body after long hours on boats. Just when I thought the bus was about to depart, the driver turned off the engine and said to wait for some others who were yet to arrive. And when they came, they were in a group of more than 20 =_=! Damn it, you Vietnamese really wanna fully utilize the space in a bus and squeezed everyone into the bus. I think there were around 30-40 people on the bus that day! It was FULL! Moment before I was thinking if I could occupy 2 seats and sit comfortably on it back to Saigon. But it turned out to be the other way round. I squeezed my body into the very small seat next to window and everytime the bus was on bumpy road I felt the window frame was like going to fall off on to my head. Argh!!! I was praying to reach Saigon immediately but it was going to be another 3:30 hours ride!

It was around 7:30 pm, We arrived in the city and I hardly feel my legs anymore. Right after I stepped out from the bus, I rushed to collect my luggage and asking the driver about our location. YES! I was at the Pham Ngu Lao Street! When I walked down the street and reach at a junction, I saw this thing below:

I knew that I was not wrong, I reached the cross junction of Pham Ngu Lao st. with Bui Vien street - the back packers paradise in Saigon. There were a lot of budget hotels in this area. After checking a few of the hotels, we found that the conditions were not satisfying until we went to one called Tuan Ahn Hotel. It was a budget hotel running by a family and we were just too tired to check for other better hotel and decided to stay in it as the condition was quite ok in the hotel. So that ended our 2 days 1 night Mekong Delta trip and we were in Saigon already with the "Crazy Buffalo" welcoming us in the city.

Highlight of the day! Remember the part when I was complaining about the mosquitoes backed at the Floating Hotel? I was terrified by it when I found out that those were not mosquito bites but lices! Damn you Delta Floating Hotel. You guys never really clean your room and how could you have charged us so expensive for 20 bucks a night but you can't even maintain a basic hygiene in the room. How could you put your customers into a room with lices?! In fact so many lices! Me and my mate had got both our hands and legs bitten by the lices so badly! For those who are planning for a Mekong Delta trip, please do not go to the one we stayed in - Delta Floating Hotel!