|Saturday 20th February 2010
We left Phnom Penh early this morning to head to the Vietnam border. I was feeling under the weather (again!) – think it was probably the mango which I bought for the bus journey the other day from a random street vendor that has made me sick this time (but you can never be totally sure!).
The border crossing between Bavet (Cambodia) and Moc Bai (Vietnam) looked much more official than any of the other recent borders we’ve crossed – and we didn’t have to pay any ‘bribes’ to anyone this time! We left Cambodia without any trouble – bizarrely there were loads of big casinos hotels just before the border – gambling must not be legal in Vietnam! Getting into Vietnam was more hassle. There didn’t seem to be any system of queuing, and every bus load of people who arrived after us keep getting called to the front whilst we had to stand and wait in the heat (not good when you’re feeling rubbish!). Eventually our names were called and we were able to go through – Vietnam here we come!
The view out of the window wasn’t much different from Cambodia; the countryside is much the same although some of the rice paddies are actually green here. Ho Chi Minh City (still known as Saigon to the locals) is a sprawling place and it took a long time to get to the centre. First impression was the sheer number of motorbikes! We are used to seeing a lot in Asia, but there are more than ever here!
The bus dropped us right outside our hotel which was great as it meant no haggling with taxi/cyclo drivers! The hotel itself was much nicer than other’s we’ve stayed in, although our room was on the 4th floor and getting to it involved climbing a LOT of stairs!! Once we got to the room I crashed out as I was feeling pretty ill. Sam headed out and came back with takeaway pizza which was great and made me feel much better!