A Travellerspoint blog

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Holiday Planning

We are currently in the planning/booking phase for our holiday to Vietnam & Cambodia on the 27 Feb 2011. We will be flying from Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City via Singapore, we will spend two days in Ho Chi Minh City sightseeing before boarding the MV Indochina Pandaw for a seven day cruise up the Mekong river into Cambodia. After the cruise we spend two days in Siem Reap before flying to Singapore for a further four days sightseeing before flying back to Australia.

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Posted by Bauders 15:41 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 1

On our Way

We had a very early start to the day, picked up at 4:45am to be transported to Sydney airport. It was obsence to be at the airport before the sun was up.
The flight left on time at 9:15am for Singapore. Our window seats were right over the wing (with two screaming kids around us, were lucky the flight was not fully booked so we could move to a quieter location (with a better view).

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Arrived Changi Airport for a 3 hour stopover, the airport is huge, we had to use the air train to change terninals for the ongoing flight to Ho Chi Minh City. The flight was 30 minutes late leaving Singapore as a passenger had booked luggage in but did not turn up so they had to find & unload the offending luggage for security reasons.

Arrived Ho Chi Min on time and booked in the upmarket Caraville around 8.30pm(around 11.30pm Sydney time).Took a wander around the streets, temp was around 26 degrees and fine. Headed back for some well earned rest for what was a 19 hour day!

Posted by Bauders 15:14 Comments (0)

Day 2

Ho Chi Minh City

Spent the morning on a sightseeing tour, starting with the Reunification Palace, the old Presidential Palace, remembered by Australians around at the time for TV footage of the Americans evacuating personal from the roof by helicopters and also news photographs of the Viet Cong crashing tanks through the front gates at the end of the war.

Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace

We then stopped at the War Museum, old American military equipment and many very graphic, disturbing photographs taken during and after the war.

Then stopped at a Lacquer works factory, shown the process of decorating wooden items with paint, egg shells and/or mother of pearl then polishing and lacquering them. It had the usual 'buying opportunity' at the end of the tour.

Lacquer Works Factory

Lacquer Works Factory

Then to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the French built Post Office building before heading to lunch.

The afternoon we walked to the Ben Thanh markets, these are a must to see, but can be quite confronting in some of the narrow walkways with the store owners trying to get you to buy.

Some interesting work practices - he does have a safety line on.

Linesmen

Linesmen

Finished the day with a couple of Tiger beers on the rooftop bar of the hotel which overlooks the city.

HCMC Skyline

HCMC Skyline

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Day 3

Joining the Boat

The thing most notable in Vietnam is the amount of traffic, mostly motor bikes, with a much smaller number of cars, trucks and buses. The limited road rules that seem to exist are mostly ignored. If there are too many vehicles on the road, use the footpath. Pedestrian crossing are just a decoration on the road, pedestrians have no right of way at all, even on the footpath. To cross the road is an art, walk at a constant speed to allow the bikes to manoeuvre around you.

RV Indochina Pandaw

RV Indochina Pandaw

Today we left Ho Chi Minh City to meet the RV Indochina Pandaw at the port of My Tho on the Mekong River. We cast off at 1.00pm and cruised up the Mekong River to near Cai Be where the boat anchored. Two small boats then took us to see the floating markets, some small local industries making pop rice, rice paper and confectionery and a small village.

MyTho

MyTho

Posted by Bauders 06:11 Comments (0)

Day 4

Sadec Canal

First night that we slept on board, just about back to normal sleeping patterns, did not get out of bed till 6.30am.

After breakfast we again took a small boat to see local activities along the small canal of Sadec. Stopped at a brick and rice factory. Then to look at the house of Huyn Thuy Le, his biography inspired Marguerite Duras to write L'Amant. We then walked through the local produce market, very large with a huge variety of fruit, vegetables, meats and seafood.

Brick Works

Brick Works

House of Huyan Thuy

House of Huyan Thuy

Returned to boat for lunch before setting sail in the afternoon for a 90 kilometre cruise up the Mekong River before anchoring for the night.

Farm Land

Farm Land

Posted by Bauders 06:25 Comments (0)

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