Saturday, April 25, 2009

Good Night Vietnam! Good Morning Cambodia!

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Well the last couple of days have been an adventure!  We are currently sitting by the pool at our hotel in Phnom Penh.

Two days ago we were boarding a bus to do a 1 day tour of the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. We left Saigon after 4 great days and headed west to the Cai Be Floating Market about 3 hours from Saigon.  

Once we arrived we boarded a boat that toured us around the floating market (which by time we had arrived was pretty quiet), then we were dropped at an area where we were shown how they made coconut candy (not bad, tasted like coconut taffy), puffed rice (made like popcorn and mixed with coconut, sugar & salt to make what tasted like rice crispie squares) and rice paper which we made in our cooking class in Hoi An.

It was what you'd expect of a tour, show  you how some products are made, let you try a sample and then stand around for 10 or 15 minutes giving you 'time' to buy said products.  Not really my thing.  We did buy some prawn chips to snack on however and they were yummy!

After a stop for lunch we headed by boat through the delta where we met up with our bus.  The boat tour was nice and we passed through some small channels and saw a lot of local life.  We also had a bit of a rainstorm which helped to cool things down ever so briefly.

Once back on the bus we had a 4 hour drive through the Delta to our hotel for the night in Chau Doc a border town in Vietnam.  The drive was uneventful if a little long but we got to enjoy the scenery as we passed through the countryside and towns of the Mekong Delta.

We arrived in Chau Doc about 630pm and quickly got settled as our guide was going to take us to the best restaurant in town.  Since it was dark and we were tired and didn't feel like exploring much ourselves we decided to go with the group.  Our guide took us a few blocks away to a local establishment where about 12 of us sat down at two tables.  The food turned out to be pretty mediocre and our guide left as soon as we were seated probably to go find a better restaurant for himself after collecting the commission from bringing us to that restaurant!

See the next post for our adventurous boat trip up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh.

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