Monday, July 24, 2006

The last few days

I've been away on the worst boat tour ever! I'll get to it in just a minute.

On whatever day it was (in Saigon) I went to the Cu Chi tunnels in the morning which were interesting, and then to a part of town called Cholon in the late afternoon. Cholon is known for being the Chinese area of town. We took a nice, modern city bus for 13 cents and weren't quite sure where to go so we just walked around aimlessly amongst the people packing up for the evening. We ended up sitting in a Chinese temple of some kind playing with a group of kids who were hanging out there. They showed us their hip hop moves and crawled all over us. That night we ate an expensive dinner (ELEVEN dollars for a steak!) at a quaint French restaurant and a few drinks near our hotel before calling it a night.

So, everyone recommended that we book a tour along the Mekong Delta to get into Cambodia. Do it in three days if you can, they said. We couldn't spare that much time so instead booked for three and it was so bad! We were left in the dark about what was happening, the tour guide didn't give good information about the things we were seeing, we spent more time on a bus than a boat, the hotel was like a bug-ridden jail cell, and the delta itself was nothing I hadn't seen before. Luckily I was in a good mood, we met some interesting people, and so I had a good time.

We just got to Phnom Penh, Cambodia tonight at 630 instead of 4:00, (seems like Southeast Asians have a unique sense of time) found a place to stay near the river and the main attractions in the city, and have a date to meet our two Quebecois friends Paulina and Katrine at 8:30am for some serious sight seeing.

So far in the couple of hours I've been here Cambodia is great! It's cool and breezy (so I judge cities by their weather, I'll admit) with much less crazy honking and traffic than in Vietnam. There are even cars on the roads, and sidewalks! And traffic lights!!! The food seems slightly more expensive, they operate with US dollars, and the beggars are as persistent as ever.

We'll see what other impressions I have after tomorrow.


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