Monday, January 14, 2013

Down The Mekong

We spent our next couple of days settling in and arranging for a trip to Vietnam.  On Saturday, January 5, we boarded a "fast boat" for our trip down the Mekong River.  The  Mekong is quite wide and was smooth for our trip.  We were fascinated by the riverside sights.

However, some of our fellow-travelers were more interested in other pursuits.
Around noon we pulled up to a primative dock and were told we needed to go ashore to have our visas processed so we could leave Cambodia. The "stairs" up to the processing facility were even more primative than the dock, but passengers helped each other to navigate them and we all made it safely to the top...

and back down again!
A couple of hundred yards down the river we again went ashore to have our visas stamped to allow entrance to Vietnam.  (Fortunately, their facility was more accessible.) We then boarded a "slow boat" to continue on to Chau Doc. They served lunch on board.  It consisted of a well-done fried egg on rice, so we were glad we had brought sandwiches from home.
After cruising down the Mekong for another hour or so, the boat entered a series of tributaries or canals, which gave us a more intimate look at the life of the Vietnamese river people. 

Upon arriving in Chau Doc, we checked into our "floating" hotel. Fortunately, though it was built over the water it wasn't actually floating. If it had been, wakes from the passing boats would have tossed us out of bed at the very least.

Our rooms were clean, but quite primative. I didn't see any mosquitos, but was comforted to have the netting to make sure I wasn't sleeping with the ever-present geckos. They were inside our rooms as well as out!

Dinner was at a wonderful French restaurant in the Victoria Hotel a few blocks away.  Too bad we didn't stay there instead!

(Notice that JJ can't quite make up his mind between beer and wine...both is a good compromise!)


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