Sing Jow from MY Tho in the Mekong Delta,
We had an interesting few days after leaving Saigon and have just about got over the HUMUNGOUS ripping off we suffered at the hands of a horrible little bus man. We thought we'd go cheaply to the Mekong Delta by getting local buses instead of an organised tour, it all started off well, we got on a local bus...with much staring and pointing from the locals (Kind of a theme in Vietnam so far!) got dropped of at the bus station then it all went a bit pete tong. We were rushed off the bus onto this little minibus going to My Tho full of locals. Little man came up to us, told us how much to pay (In a big rush...we should've clocked), we handed over the cash, he hopped off and the bus left. It all happened in about 10 seconds from us getting off the local bus and onto the minibus! After a few minutes I realised we'd paid a "bit" to much, and to our relief the people on the bus were OUTRAGED! Thankfully they weren't laughing at us for being stoopid English, they couldn't speak any English but tried to help us out. Unfortunately the guy had gone and we think the driver was in on it too, as we weren't asked to pay for another ticket and when we tried to sort it out at our destination he "couldn't speak English" GRRRRRR! Anyway, it transpires that we paid over ten times more for our ticket than we should've done, it was still only about 15 pounds but it was the principle as it should've been 1!! We were REALLY pissed off, and I was raging because I've been away for 7 months now and have not had any probs in that sense, I've always been on the ball but I guess it was just one of those things...thankfully we found the rest of the Vietnamese people we've met so far to be GREAT. Thank you for reading that little rant it was a litle like therapy for me but now onto happier things....
We arrived at our hotel after being thrown ontot he back of a moped with our big rucksacks...it was something I was pretty scared of as these dudes are MANIACS but it was great fun! Our hotel was cheap and nice and we befirended this great local guide who took us on a tour the next day. That evening we headed out in My Tho town (About 2 streets...it's tiny!!) and there was much pointing and "Hello baby" from the locals! We met up with a Czech guy and went to this mad club down the road. It was really expensive and really busy, full of young Vietnamese on the lash! We still haven't figured out whether it was a gay bar or not though, the guy we were with was approached by a few men (He didn't look happy about it either!) and there was lots of provocative dancing going on but we figured that they're just less bothered about that kind of thing over here compared with some places at home. Anyway, I ended up (After leaving the club due to financial issues...ie. It cost $2 a beer!) drinking in a little shack till around 2 AM, the beer cost MUCH less and I shared the toilet witha rooster who was sleeping in the corner (I kid you not...it was hilarious!)
The next day Kim went off at 6 am to the floating markets and I happily rolled over and went back to sleep! That afternoon we took a fantastic trip around the Mekong Delta visiting Unicorn Island, Turtle Island, Coconut Island and Ben Tre. We were paddled through tiny little canals by Vietnamese women which was amazing. It was exactly how I had pictured Vietnam in my head before I got there, lots of palm trees, brown muddy water and steamy hot weather...BLISS. We then headed to a coconut candy factory and to Cocnut Island where a famous monk once lived. The highlight for both of us though was seeing fireflies on the way home. We took the boat to the other side of the delta and in the trees on the riverside were what looked like Christmas tree lights flickering on and off. The guides took an empty bottle and caught some of them for us and they flew round inside with their bums lit up like LED lights! They were amazing! We sat wathing the lights for ages and reluctanty headed back to the hotel after 4 great hours. This next bit is gonna sound V corny but I spent the whole ride back looking at the stars which were AMAZING too. So clear and pretty (OK corn over).
So that was oure in the Mekong Delta, it was all great when we got there apart from the bizzare karaoke style conference going on in the hotel each morning. The karaoke strated at around 7:30 AM (Seriously...it was nuts) continued for half an hour and the abrubtly stopped...apparantly there were Japanese business people staying there for some marketing comference...either way it was mad!! We had a great time and are pleased to report that noone else tried to screw us over. The poepl were great and just wanted to talk to us and laugh at the fact we were white (Well, brown and white!)
We came to Dalat today in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, once again, via a local bus with much pointing and staring! Two little girls found Kim particularly amusing but we're not sure why. They followed us around for ages! Anyway, I must head off to bed, busy day waterfall hunting tomorrow!
Hope you're all well, thanks for being part of my writing therapy!! I'm now officaly over it and it will NOT happen again!