Vietnam
An Giang

Here you’ll find travel reports about An Giang. Discover travel destinations in Vietnam of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

14 travelers at this place:

  • Day3

    Giving in to drinking beer

    January 15, 2017 in Vietnam

    Isabel finally gave in to drinking beer. She has been looking for a glass of wine ever since the first night where she kicked off with a bottle of vodka the first night in Vietnam.

    When we sat down she saw wine on the menu and asked if she could see the bottle. The waiter first called someone who can speak english and then the new waiter said; "I am sorry no wine".
    At that point she realized its either beer or coke and since beer is cheaper she gave in to drinking beer.

    Bizarrely they brought Isabel's food about 20 minutes before mine so she was completely finished eating by the time mine came. Further they didn't bring my rice and fish together so my rice was cold by the time the fish came.

    The fish was really good but the experience was average because I first had to watch Isabel eat and then she had to watch me eat.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day3

    Crocs and bonsais

    January 15, 2017 in Vietnam

    Crocs and bonsais what a weird combination for a farm.

    On the way to our overnight spot we stopped at a alligator farm. I am still not sure if this was just a convenient restroom stop or if its actually part of the planned itinerary, but it was kinda cool to see.

    I must be honest the crocs did not impress me too much as I have been to plenty croc farms in SA, however there are way more crocs in one enclosure here than what I am used too.

    I really enjoyed the bonsais, it reminded me of the small bonsai collection I had at university and makes me what to pick that hobby back up.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day4

    Idyllic jungle

    January 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    Then we hopped on a Vietnam "gondola" with the friendliest tiny "guide", within moments we got lost in romantic little water alleyways. This was absolutely breathtaking scenery and I am so happy that we made this trek out here, its worth it!!! Birdlife was in abundance in this lush green environment of Acacia trees. This is untouched beauty beyond imagination and to not share this secludedness with millions of tourists is fabulous. The water has a mystical presence and who knows what lies beneath. We docked somewhere and climbed the Vietnam jungle version of a skyscrape tower, with beautiful views over the valley.

    To put my trek comment in perspective the roads are in a bad condition (no potholes just uneven) and traffic is horrendous as everyone do whatever they please, hence 200km's takes a lifetime. The amount of hoots I have heard the past few days is probably more than I have even heard in my entire life.

    Happydays!
    {Issy}
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  • Day4

    Brekkie with a view

    January 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    We are leaving at 6.30am, hence my sleepy look. We had black tea with an omelette and Vietnamese bread for breakfast. It wasn't great as the egg was cold , but will give me my protein fix. The kitchen rang us as 6.15 and said the breakfast was ready🙈.

    Our table overlooked the Mekong river and all the activity happening there early morning. I guess they can market it as breakfast with a view, spectacular in a bizarre way.

    {Issy}
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  • Day4

    Tra Su cajuput forest

    January 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    After 3 days in the Mekong Delta we finally found the mind blowing nature that Vietnam has to offer.

    Close to the border of Cambodia lies a protected wetland forest of acacia trees. This was quite spectacular to see, the only way to see it is from on a boat as the whole place is basically water-locked apart from some flood walls they build to help protect the forest and regulate the flow of the water.

    In one of these flood walls they built a tower so you can see the forest from above the forest canopy, other than the fact that the tower was terrifying to climb as I literally felt the structure vibrate as I walked up the stairs, this was an unbelievable sight from the top.

    On the way back to the bus I took a panoramic picture that shows where people live on the left side of the road and where the forest starts on the right side of the road. The contrast is striking as the piles of garbage line the left side of the road and natural beauty the right side.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day4

    Buddhist temple

    January 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    After an early breakfast we headed to Sam Mountain a important symbol of Chau Doc town to visit the Cave Pagoda.

    The Pagoda Cave is a buddhist temple with a combination of temple buildings and caves. We did not expect much to be honest but we were blown away by the magnificent temple buildings, gardens and views from the temple.

    Ironically this is the best kept building we have seen so far. If I was born in Vietnam, I mustv be honest I would prefer to be a buddhist monk as they seem the have the best life's here.

    The photo of the golden buddha sculpture, almost looks like he sit and laugh as his got all the money and riches.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day4

    Row boat in the jungle

    January 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    We transferred to an even smaller boat where a cute Vietnamese lady navigated us through a dense part of the jungle. It was quite amazing how well she controls the little boat with only one oar.

    She took us to the nesting place of the local birds. There were hundreds of nests and hundreds of birds, the Vietnamese hats was essential to protect us from bird poo.

    This really was as romantic as the pictures suggest. Without a shadow of doubt my highlight of this 3 day Mekong Delta tour.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day4

    Jungle

    January 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    Finally breathtaking nature made its appearance. My expectation was zero to none after all the litter pollution that we noticed ever since our arrival on Friday.

    We took a short walk where a boat picked us up. Given its a Monday and we are only one of 2 couples who are doing the three day tour it was a wonderful peaceful experience in this untouched jungle. We were the only people there, serenity I will cherish for life.

    {issy}
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  • Day4

    Cave Pagoda Temple

    January 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    I still get the same sort of uneasiness in temples that I got 30 years ago with my mom and grandmother in Turkey.

    Taking of your shoes, entering the temple with your right foot first, rule driven not directed by love.

    An amazing setting for this magnitude of a structure built on top off a mountain. Inside there are lots of smallercave temples all with unique praying areas covered with the best decorations. The views surrounding it, is beautiful, but given I have no religious bond with what this all entails its just statues to me. The monks fascinated me and I agree with Dolf that they have the best life's here.

    It was great to see, definitely a glimpse into the religious side of the Vietnamese culture, as the majority of them are Buddhists. People travel from very far to come and visit and pray in this Pagoda.

    {Issy}
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  • Day61

    Along the Mekong River

    November 12, 2016 in Vietnam

    Our day started bright and early to meet our tour guide who would take us on a small boat to the floating markets. We met Cho (our guide) in the hotel lobby at 6am and proceeded to walk through the lively market adjacent to our hotel towards the boat ramp where we boarded our boat, driven by a Vietnamese lady.

    We bobbed down ther river for an hour, avoiding the bow waves of larger bully boats while observing the large amount of rubbish floating down river which kept getting stuck in the propeller. 1 hour later, and we arrived at the floating markets - a wholesale market where items like pineapple, sweet potato and watermelon are sold in bulk to local restaurant owners, market sellers and hotels. To determine what was for sale on each boat, a bamboo stick flying the boats produce is placed at the rear of the boat to entice buyers. Sellers come from far and wide from along the Mekong River and depending on the type of produce sold they stayed at the market for 1-2 days for items like pineapple or 1-2 weeks for items like sweet potato which has a longer shelf/boat life. Apparently the busiest time of year for the market is just before the New Year where watermelon is in high demand, as it is the main celebratory fruit.

    The great thing about this market is that, as it is wholesale, there is no one hassling you to buy anything, so you get to lay back and enjoy the experience without fear of being targeted as a tourist. After a few trips around the market, we headed up a tributary to gain a bit more of an insight to the local way of life, with young children waving and yelling hello at us all the way. The children here are absolutely gorgeous and it warms my soul everytime I see them.

    We made a stop at a local rice noodle factory where they make between 300-400kg of dried rice noodles per day which is sold to local restaurants. I thought this volume was excessive given the smaller population of the surrounding area but Cho informed us that this volume was no where near enough and the factory is one of two that services the local area to make sure they have enough rice noodles to keep them going. To make the rice noodles, the liquid (50% rice powder and 50% cassava powder mixed with water) is cooked on a circular hot plate for a few minutes and then placed on a sheet of bamboo where it is dried for 3 hours in the sun. After it has dried the rice paper is dipped in water for 1-2 seconds to make it softish before it is put through a rice noodle press, to turn a sheet into individual noodles. The noodles are then packaged up into 1kg bags and transported by bike to local restaurants. As the factory has two ovens, the inside temperature was incredibly warm and made it difficult to hang around too long, but the amazing workers do it everyday.

    Just outside the factory we stopoed for breakfast comprising Vietnamese coffee, pho, pineapple and dried banana rice cake before making our way back to the boat to head back towards our hotel. On the way back we spoke to Cho about his options for immigrating with his real work as an engineer and methods for teaching English to others. Jamie recommended listening to the BBC World Service, I recommended anything non American. We weren't very helpful.

    Back at our hotel, I managed to fit in a quick run before our shuttle bus was due to pick us up to take us back to the bus station. Our plan was to take a bus towards the Vietnam/Cambodia border where we would stop and stay in Chau Doc for the evening before taking a speedboat up the Mekong River into Cambodia and to Phnom Penh. The bus fares are very cheap, costing us only £4 pounds each on the local bus for a 4 hour journey. The bus even comes with free water and wifi. New Zealand could learn a thing or two from this.

    On board the bus, we settled into watching a few tv shows on my tablet before we stopped at the halfway point so the driver could have some lunch. On arrival, Jamie got a pat on the back and turned around to find our friend Gauthier, who we met on the train from Moscow to Irkutsk. If there was any definition of a small world, this was it. The three of us stared and laughed in disbelief that in the middle of the Mekong delta, we had found ourselves on the same little bus. After a quick catch up during the break, we got back on the bus with promises of beers in Chau Doc later that night.

    It was not long until we were off the bus again being transfered to a larger sleeper bus, which was massively more comfortable than the one previous. For the rest of the journey, I could lie back and message Mum, Kels and Maevie back home in New Zealand while transversing the banks of the Mekong.

    We arrived at Chau Doc and quickly found our hotel, threw down our bags and hit the streets to try and book a boat that would take us up the river in the morning. We walked 1km towards the river until we arrived at the Victoria hotel which also had a speedboat service. We enquired and were told that their service was really only for hotel guests only but we could get on if we paid $89 USD pp. The prices on the internet indicated that other providers cost around $25 USD pp, so quickly left.

    On our way back towards our hotel we ran in Gauthier again and together we worked out where to go and found a boat company who would take us for $25 USD. We toasted our success on not being ripped off with a few beers at a local street restaurant by the river before making our way back towards our hotel for dinner and sleep.
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An Giang

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