This young boy is the antithesis of Vietnam double-time. Everything seems busier and more colorful as you travel south into Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the Mekong Delta.
The Street Ninjas
The Street Ninjas are the young ladies heading to work on their motorbikes, masked and covered head to toe against the wind, the fumes and the sun. Every street in Ho Chi Minh City is swarming with motorbikes. To cross a street, the trick is to put your hand out and start walking. Never stop. If you stop the bikers will get confused and hit you. If you keep walking they will part ways. It works.
Walk about Ho Chi Minh City
Cathy’s Vietnamese exchange student and her boyfriend took us around the City. We totally enjoyed the insider tour. For lunch, we had pho at a friend’s noodle shop. We visited an out-of-the-way and quite decrepit community temple where the Obamas visited. We tried a ‘durian’ smoothie (the world’s smelliest fruit) from an alleyway vendor. We ate and bought our way through some local markets. And in the evening we had dinner at the family home.
The Mekong Delta
Driving through the Delta was flat and to my mind, boring. However once we boarded our boat, this river highway got interesting. The Mekong River has its headwaters in Tibet, and winds over 4000 kilometres (2700 miles) through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and finally Vietnam. In the Delta, it is wide, slow moving and muddy, and the air is tropical.
Backgrounder – Vietnam Cambodia Tour
Cathy and I traveled for 18 days. For 14 days we traveled south through Vietnam. The last 4 days we visited Cambodia. We took domestic flights from Hanoi to Hue, Hoi An to Nha Trang, and Seim Reap to Phnom Penh. The balance of our travel was by bus.
Our tour organizer was Sinorama based in Toronto. Sinorama closed down as of August 2018, which is unfortunate because this is a tour company that I would recommend.
To get to Vietnam, we took a direct 16 hour flight from Toronto to Taipei, and then a 3 1/2 hour flight to Hanoi. To return from Cambodia, we took a 3 1/2 hour flight from Phnom Penh to Taipei, and then a 14 hour flight with a tail wind back to Toronto. All of these flights are on the Taiwanese airline EVA Air. A big plus is that we were into the Asian experience as soon as we got on the plane. It was especially nice when we upgraded to Economy Plus for the trip home to Toronto.
Vietnam – Cambodia Blog Series –
Vietnam Time is the second blog of three in our Vietnam – Cambodia Series. The first is Re-imagine Vietnam and the third will be about Angkor Wat and Cambodia.