After some deliberation, my girlfriend and I are making a loop into Vietnam and spending more time there than Thailand.
We are taking the boat down the Mekong to Chau Doc, spending a couple days there hanging out before setting on down to Phu Quoc for a week either via Ha Tien or Rach Gia (we'll see when we are there how connections work out)
We plan on taking some time on the way back, a couple days in Rach Gia, Vinh long, Can tho, Ben Tre.
Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for the area.
We are keen on maybe spending some time hanging out in verdant areas, boating on canals, biking in around orchards that kind of classic mekong thing.
#1 demoncleaner has been a member since 11/3/2009. Posts: 8
My wife and I hired some guys with motorbikes to take us from Chau Doc to Ha Tien stayed overnight then on to Hon Chong . There was a good ferry from Hon Chong to Phu Quoc (Nov 08). Then on the way back go via Rach Gia , as you have said, to complete the loop. Chau Doc is great, so to is Hon Chong but quiet and Rach Gia has got a nice "down to earth" feel as well. You can do any trip you want once you are there and it is easy to arrange with locals and hotels en route. Get between places on the Mai Linh buses and check out this site and also reidontravel.com for some other ideas. Enjoy!
#2 Husko has been a member since 13/10/2007. Posts: 34
Just got back from Phu Quoc and all places in between. (Was there last week)
You can get Mekong Delta tours easily and cheaply over there. It's quite big and well impressive but big.
Phu Quock is great!!!. We went from rach gia and yeah I would have liked more time there. Vinh Long was interesting but we didn't stop there. Can Tho is the next big place.
Brush up on your communication skills as english is not that well spoken down there.
Baots were my favourite and most comfortable mode of transport.
Have a great time.
Thanks for the replies.
We have read good things on Rach Gia on this site, reidontravel didnt seem as impressed, but since its on the way we may as well have a look see. We have about 3 weeks for Phu Quoc and the Delta so we are hoping to have a great end to our trip.
Its good to know bus and boat access makes it easy to travel about.
#4 demoncleaner has been a member since 11/3/2009. Posts: 8
I've got a softspot for Rach Gia -- it's certainly not overflowing with stuff to do, but I was stuck there for a couple of days due to bad weather and the flights being full, so I certainly got the lay of the land! It's like most small Vietnamese towns -- ample place to hang out with a book/coffee/beer etc while you wait for the weather to improve.
I was very taken with the market at Rach Soi -- only worth going to if you're stuck in RachGia as I was, but early morning, the market was absolutely heaving and was very interesting (and yes, pretty grotty!)
If anything, Ha Tien is perhaps a more interesting place, as you can visit Hon Chong from there... but sounds like you've got enough time to fit a few places in.
Also agree with Stigron regarding lack of English -- a phrasebook will come in handy.
Stigron, which legs did you do by boat?
Just want to say you need to make sure you allow enough time for travelling around the Delta. While it looks small on the map, it can take ages to get around.
not saying it isn't worth it, it is - just be sure to allow enough time.
#6 beachgirl has been a member since 25/4/2009. Posts: 8
Thanks everyone for the advice.
I will be sure to carry a phrasebook in my travels. I am also planning on getting some Pimsleur MP3 and printouts for the trip. I figure there will be lots of time on planes trains and boats, and not much on TV if stuck inside due to rain.
We will plan accordingly for travel times around the delta, we didnt want to go too far a day and just take it in at our own pace.
I'm getting pretty excited, leave on Friday for Bangkok and going through laos and cambodia. Its been a long cold winter in the arctic and looking forwards to some sun, fun , culture and great food before forest fire season.
#7 demoncleaner has been a member since 11/3/2009. Posts: 8
Talking about language MP3s World Nomads have a free Vietnamese language download in a few different formats. Includes useful phrases like "Don't shoot, the drugs aren't mine!"