Vietnam and Cambodia 2015
A trip to Vietnam and Cambodia
Visiting Ben Tre, Can Tho, Kampot, Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, Hoi An, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City
We set off to Eastwood station yesterday morning (as track work from Epping), allowing plenty of time and putting our pack carrying skills to the test. We all managed it easily, with Jonno streaking ahead, thus ensuring we could carry our packs anywhere if required.
We ate dinner last night at a garden restaurant very close to the hotel. The seafood spring rolls were amazing. We had a whole red snapper in sweet and sour sauce which Jonno said was like eating cloud. The salt and pepper squid was really tender and not battered, which made the flavours extra good. We all enjoyed our dinner.
We set off on time on the boat at 8am. We each had a cane seat and there were three hammocks and a reclining bamboo lounge to share. All very comfortable but impossible to believe that the boat could sit 30. We also had our own (not so private) toilet which came in useful during our 8 hour trip
We were up at 5 am for breakfast at 5.30. The beds were rock hard so getting up wasn't as difficult as it might have been. We left the Homestay at 6 am to walk 10 minutes to the river where we got into a narrow boat to ride to the floating markets at Cai Rang.
A day in the car today as we drove from Can Tho to Kampot in Cambodia via Rach Gia and Ha Tien. All was going well until we stopped and waited while some road workers cut down a coconut tree across the road, when we started there were shouts from the workers and a strange noise from the back wheel. Sure enough we had a flat. After about 45 minutes, most of which was the driver trying to get the spare out, we were on our again.
It was a day for sleeping in and the kids didn't wake until after 8am. After the rock hard beds of Green Village Homestay, these beds were comparative luxury - though Jonno has only given the room 9 out of 10 as he says the pillows are too big. Georgia and I are giving it 9.5.
Today was a recovery day (not quite a rest day as we were still out and about). We had breakfast at 9am which meant that the kids could have a good sleep in. Simon gave up on the coffee as neither the espresso or the cambodian mug of coffee were to his liking and ordered Lipton tea instead.
After a breakfast of eggs and pancakes (for Jonno), fresh baguettes, homemade jams and fruit, we met up with Davy, our tourism assistant for the day who we had booked based on recommendations on Trip Advisor.
We met Davy and our driver at around 8am to drive 1.5 hours out to Phnom Chisor, a temple on top of a hill which offered amazing views of the countryside. Whilst Georgia felt well when we left, she started to feel car sick quite soon after we left, and was unwell for part of the trip. She felt better in the fresh air and counted 272 steps to the temple as we went up the women's path.
Our driver was early for our trip to Battambang, so he had to wait while we finished breakfast. We were on the road by 8.15 with a full bootload, including our packs plus random parcels to be delivered on the way. With some skilful packing, everything squeezed in and we were on our way.
It was an early start with the tuk tuk picking us up at 7.15 am. It was too early for breakfast at the B&B which didn't start serving breakfast till 8 am. A little unusual particularly given that music started acres the road at 5 am so the whole neighbourhood would have been awake anyway. They did give us a snack of some green bananas, bland sponge roll and water.
Our tuk tuk driver was late - normally they are early, and I was getting a little concerned when he finally turned up. I knew that we would make the boat, but I wanted to be sure that we didn't have to sit down the back too close to the engine.