Goodbye Vietnam!!! After Nha Trang, we left to explore Saigon. It was big, noisy and full of motorbikes, exactly what you would expect. We splurged on a room with air con down a little alley to be away from the noise. Spent a day touring the War Remnants museum which was sobering to say the least. You really don't think that those types of things happen but during the Vietnam War it seemed as though anything and everything happened. The worst were the actions of U.S. soldiers and the government. I dont think any person visiting the museum left without shedding a tear or 2. But we enjoyed the rest of our time chilling out and getting ready to go to the Mekong Delta. We did not do a homestay as planned but went on a boat for a day and cruised around. Really nice. We then headed back to Saigon so that we could head into Cambodia via a northern border crossing. We were getting a bit frustrated when every tour place said that we couldn't do that, we could only go with them. We were asking for local busses but they kept saying that we couldn't go... but we knew we could!!!!
Anyway, finally found the local station and the next day travelled for 4 hours by bus, 1 hour by motorbike taxi to the border. It was the sleepiest border crossing yet! The officials just stamped our departure from Vietnam and we crossed over to Cambodia where we got a visa from a briefcase, and the smiling Cambodian patrols helped us get a taxi to a town 5 km down the road. Now, it is about 5pm and we need to get further north so... we sat by the side of the road and flagged down a minibus who took us to Snoul. A little place with the NASTIEST guesthouse. Woke up at 6am and decided that a $2 ride in the back of a pickup truck was a great deal to get to Kratie (1.5 hours away) until more and more people climbed in. We left with 10 people in the back of the truck and 5 people inside and then, of course, we proceeded to pick up more and more!!! At one time we had 35 people in, and on, the truck flying down the countryside at 80km/hr. It was so funny because the Cambodian people just kept smiling and laughing when they saw our reactions. Of course our travel day(s) were not finished as we wanted to reach Banlung that day and hopped on a bus for another 6.5 hours. We were DONE when we arrived.
But at the end of every long and ass-numbing journey is paradise... and this place is close! We are in the middle of nowhere and in the beautiful jungle. We are staying 5km out of town in a guesthouse that runs on solar power and we only get power from 6-9pm. We also have the place to ourselves. Really lovely until the sounds of the jungle come alive when you are trying to sleep!!! We found waterfalls and the most beautiful fresh water lake, you would think you were in B.C. Tomorrow we are leaving for a 3 day 2 night trek into the National Park, sleeping in a homestay one night and camping in a hammock the next. I am FREAKED of all the creepy crawlers... this should be intersesting. We will let you know how it goes! Wish us luck as we also head into Laos for a week. I really do not think that we are going to be clean until Thailand (dry season means LOTS of dust!).
OK, need to get back to the guesthouse before dark... on bicycles with one speed!!