Sunday, 10 May 2009

Vietnam At Last: The Mekong Delta!!

Hello All

This time from the Ha Tien in the Mekong Delta.

I've only been here for three hours and already Vietnam seems to be a pretty cool place!

I guess I'd better update you lot on my travels over the last few days.

After staying the night in Kampot we went on a tour of Bokor National Park with Keyman Tours. It involved a 6-7 hour jungle trek to the top on the mountain where there was an old abandoned French colonial settlement for the right and famous, and a trek back down the next day (but we managed to get a lift in the back of a lorry for 1 USD!!). It was quite possibly the wettest thing that I have ever done, I could not believe that I was able to sweat that much, every single piece of clothing that I was wearing was soaked through. Think about climing Snowdonia in thick rainforest and 30 degrees C heat! Not an easy task. It was a bit of a man challenge though to keep up with the local park rangers [which i did managed to do]. Tom and Nicole managed to see a Monkey, and the ranger apparently with them pointed out to a bear! All I saw was a snake and some huge ass spiders.

Once at the top of the hill it was really cool and misty, the whole top seemed to be shrouded in cloud for the whole day and for most of the evening too. The mountain is pretty much a plateau which the French built a village for the rich and diplomats in order to get out of the heat. All of the building are in poor order, except for the old hospital which they now use as a base for the NP and a guest house for trekkers. Words can't really describe what I saw, you'll have to wait for me to upload some photos. Think of a big hotel/ casino built in the 1920's by the french which is now empty, just a shell. There were school buildings, a post office, another hotel, some houses, government buildings and a church really quite surreal!

The next day we managed to persuade one of the workers up on the hill to give us a lift back down to the entrance of the park for a dollar, saving us a 32 km hike, not too bad aye!

The same afternoon we got a tuk tuk to Kep and then a boat to Koh Tonsey (Rabbit Island). The boat journey there and back was really interesting to say the least. We were in a pissy little fishing boat in 1-2m swell, i swore that we were going to capsize a couple of times! It was good to get to the Island just to sit in your stereotypical beach hut made from bamboo and bannana leaf in a hamock watching the world go by. I pretty much managed to read 90% of my book in one day!

I just have to add this bit, I've just had some old Vietnamese guy leaning over my shoulder for the last five minutes completely besotted with what I was typing! He was talking to be but I didn't really understand what he was saying.

Any how time to sign off and get some dinner!

Plan for the next few days is:

Ha Tien --> Hon Chong tomorrow
Hon Chong --> Can Tho

I dont know the rest yet!

Anyhow Adios!



Kim said...

I knew there would be some big ass spiders!!! Sounds like you are really getting into the bartering. ENJOY!! xxxx

Allison Appleton said...

It would have been too much for me. I do not even like the little spiders!! Seems like they are all over the place now. There is one that has made a web on my mailbox. I tear it down and it is right back the next day!

MarkS62 said...

Sounds awesome, your sister would have freaked out at the spiders and cried all the way to the island on that boat!! She would probably have refused to leave the island if she thought she had to go on the boat again!
I think we are all getting rather jealous now, keep up the blog and really looking forward to seeing your pictures too. I bet the adventures will keep getting better and better

Chris said...

I have been thoroughly enjoying your posts. I'm sitting here with my cup of coffee, living vicariously through your adventures. Be sure and include all of the dets as they occur. Jenny (Bridget's sister)was in Vietnam a couple of years ago and said that the elephant ride was on of their most memorable activities. Nothing like ten tons of beast beneath you crashing through the jungle...just a thought. I have passed on your blog to a few more old farts that, like me, will be following your fun!