A Travellerspoint blog

Nine Dragons River

The mighty Mekong to Cambodia

We left our hostel in Ho Chi Minh ready to catch the bus to the Mekong. In with the caos of trying to fit all the other tourists in, the tour company pulled out stools for people to sit on.
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Once the bus was full and we drove past our start point again about 1.5 hours after we started, we were off to the Mekong. Always interesting to people watch in Vietnam, more so watch traffic. The scooters and their cargo are crazy! This is one of many examples of what to expect!
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We headed south west to Mý Tho for our first experience on the Mekong.
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Mý Tho

Anyone that doea a tour to the Mekong will experience the wonders of Mý Tho. A quick boat trip across to a three diffferent islands in the river gives you the experience of the wonderful but wierd attempts that Vietnam have at tourism. Some incredible WOW moments, other gift shops and odd horse rides that made no sense. my favorite was when they were telling us about the local animals and they pulled out a 1.5m long python... Turns out that Stacey likes snakes as much as rats.... i have never seen her move so quickly. We also tasted honey straight from the bees.
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We then jumped on what we assumed we was the right bus (our identifier for the tour company was 1 couple and we weren't the only couple). We headed to Can Tho for the night.

Can Tho

On the map Can Tho looks tiny, smaller than New Plymouth. Apparently 1.5 Million people live in the area. WOW!

As it is so close to lunar new year, everywhere is covered in lights and events seem to happen all night.
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The next day we went to a floating market where vendors come out of nowhere like pirates and hook themselves to your boat and barter deals.

Also larger boats supply the smaller ones. My favorite was all the coconuts! So many!
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Off in a bus to Chau Doc.

Chau Doc

In Chau Doc we experienced our first Buddist temple, fasinating and magical. We could see the border into Cambodia and went to a Muslim village in Sarong (where the make Sarongs). They had manually operated weaving machines, so I had to figure out how they worked naturally, and Stacey was more interested in the shopping.90_20150218_141158.jpg

After Sarong straight on the boat to Cambodia!

Cambodia

Our boat ride was long and eventful. Our boat company made sure that the border control had plenty of gifts for lunar new year and to help make sure we got through ok. We also after 6 long hungy and thirsty hours on the boat learnt that they had $1 beers on the boat the whole time. Oh well, at least we got our fix before we arrived in Phnom Penh!
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Looking forward to Phnom Penh.

Posted by travellinghoney 05:42 Archived in Vietnam Comments (3)

Ho Chi Minh

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I'm going to start with a couple of facts about Ho Chi Minh City (that we heard from a roommate. . He seems trustworthy so I believe it), anyway according to roommate Matt... There are about 8million people living in Ho Chi Minh (i believe that - there are people everywhere!!!) And there are over 4million bikes/scooters!
I think that in the past three days we have seen every single one of those people and their scooters at least three times! This city is INSANELY busy!! We have had an overwhelming feeling of culture shock! I just can't compare this city to any place I have ever been!
After a big night of flying and not much sleeping through Singapore, we arrived in Vietnam!! Our first mission was to find a taxi which wasnt too tricky. . Although someone did try to rip us off straight away.. luck Tim had done some research and knew about how much it should cost. Anyway... this is where my mind was blown! Driving into the city I was amazed that we or anyone around us didn't crash! There doesnt seem to be road rules here just a couple of guidelines - weave in and out.. and toot your horn often! My mouth was wide open!
After finding a backpackers we we wanted to track down some brekkie and have a quick look around. To be completely honest I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and was not coping very well with being hassled so we came back for some time out and a wee kip. Luckily I woke up feeling ready to explore and it wasn't so bad.
I began being terrified of crossing the road.. I won't lie it still scares me.. but now I just put my head down and go.. they seem to avoid me! Freaky stuff!!

Tim enjoying a beer at the end of the day:
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On Saturday we woke up ready to explore.. with a plan to walk to the markets and then to the War Rembrandt Museum and then more wandering tge streets. Then we found these two great guys who bikes us to all these places for so cheap! Good price good price. Yay we are in!
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The war museum was chilling. I left with a very sick feeling in my stomach. its awful what happened over here.
Any ways we then visited the presidents old palace and had a tiki tour around the town. This was when our 'lovely' guides took us to a place I can only assume was a family house andgot us to pay. This was where we learned that it wasn't so cheap after all and they charged us about 800% more than originally stated. We payed half of that but it was still WAY to much!!
After being ripped off!
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Anyway we know we wont be doing that again!
we had been trying to decide what to do next when we learned that literally everything closes down for 7days over Vietnamese new year.. so this is not a great place to be at this time of year.. we werent sure weather to risk it and head north anyway with tge possibility of not being able to travel or do anything OR we could leave the country. We have decided to leave an tomorrow we are going to begin a 3 day trip up the Mekong and to Phnom Penh in Cambodia! Very excited!

Today we went to Cu Chi and looked at the tunnels and learned more about the war. Quite amazing what they did to protect themselves!
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Well Ho Chi Minh. ..you have been a real eye opener but I'm looking forward to heading somewhere slightly less hectic!
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Posted by stomich 19:18 Archived in Vietnam Comments (1)

Perth

sunny

What a hot few days its been here in Perth! I hear that we were lucky to arrive on Sunday night as through the day temp was up to 40°!! Since we have been here its been up to 36° and that's well hot enough for us hobbits!
We have been fortunate again to have a personal tour guide (thanks Tash!). Our itinerary was planned for us and on Monday morning we were whisked out to the Swan Valley for some chocotate, wine and cheese tasting - the ultimate trio in my view! The chocolate was delish, the wine plentiful... so much that there wasn't much room left for cheese! I was feeling quite puffed reasonably early in the day, which was surely a result of the heat... nothing to do with the wine ;)
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Monday night saw us wandering around the Fringe Festival and seeing a comedy show.. surprisingly funny! Its so warm here in the evenings!!! 20150209_194031.jpg

Tuesday was a day of exploring and catch ups! We started with a meander (because it was far to hot for actual walking) through Kings Park - I would say this was the Australian version on Central Park NY... Beautiful and HUGE! We then drove down to Rockingham to see Elly and Hayden and thier new pad.. was hot so went swimming. I am in two minds about swimming over here.. on one hand its so refreshing and a lovely way to cool off in a beautiful spot... yet on the other hand I'm terrified of being gobbled up by a great white! My solution is to swim in really shallow water so people out deeper will get eaten first! What a terrible person that must make me!
Anyway after seeing Elly + Hayden we headed up to Fremantle which is a neat little seaside town with funk. Then back up to Scarborough for another swim before meeting Alex and Sophie for a drink. Phew! Was a big day :)
Tim was pretty stoked with his Bubble O Bill! 90_20150210_161332.jpg

Yesterday Tim and I walked up to Hillarys (beach). This was a stunning walk up the coast with beautiful scenery. We saw this big lizard thing.. urgh looked like a snake - im quite glad it wasn't to be completely honest!
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More swims and then Tash picked us up and took us up to Yanchep National Park. Here we saw kangaroos and koalas!!!!!!! I was pretty excited. . They were just chilling the bush and weren't phased by our excitement and photo taking!
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we even found a hobbit!!
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We stopped at a couple more beaches before heading back to Scarb and having fish, chips and a bottle of red on the beach while watching the sunset.. very romantic end to the day if it werent for the seagulls swarming us!
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Today is chill... although when we were swimming thins morning a few monstrous sets rolled in and we got owned! Was lots of fun! I think Tim enjoyed it, as he took a loooong time to get out!
Tonight we are flying to Singapore and then on to Vietnam baby!! Wooohoooo!

Posted by stomich 01:42 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Sydney

sunny

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I write this post as I lay on the beautiful and insanely busy Coogee beach. I dont think I have ever seen so many people on a beach before, I dont think there would be a place in NZ that would compare! Its crazy!

So sydney has been a great time so far! We had a very early start on friday as we got on our first plane to Sydney! Was pretty exciting. I was so excited I couldn't even sleep (which is something I am quite talented at!) Catching the bus out to Clovelly was ok. Tim made a new buddy and spent the trip teaching him how to use viber! Haha.
They lovely Jay met us at the bus stop and took us to thier place in Clovelly. We took the bus into the city and wandered around 'the rocks' which is just a real old part of town. Caught up with Alice Larmer then had a couple of drinks on a rooftop bar which (normally) looks over the Opera House... Although on this day there was a huge cruise ship in the way. We then walked to meet Alice McD as she finished work. She invited us in for a drink and for the next 3 hours we sat tasting unusual beers (thanks Lion!!!)

On Saturday we began the journey up to Palm Beach aka Summer Bay!!!! Alice took the scenic route which was long but we saw a lot of the city, and a dead kangaroo! This is a really big city!
Palm beach was cool I definitely felt like I was on Home and Away at times! After a lovely lunch we headed to Long Reef for a swim. The waves were super powerful which made swimming an adventure :) BBQ dinner, couple of drinks and a movie were the perfect way to end the day!
This morning we rose early to walk round the coast and watch the sunrise over the ocean. Beautiful.
Its meant to reach 30° today so a chill beach day is in order.
It has been wonderful to explore this giant city but it wouldnt have been half as great without the company of the awesomeness that is Alice and Jay!! Thanks for having us girls! Perth... see you soon!
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Summer bay
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Sunrise :)

Posted by stomich 00:21 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Getting Excited!

2 more sleeps!!!!!!! Woo hoooooo.

Posted by stomich 12:21 Comments (1)

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