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Hitchhiking Vietnam
DESTINATIONS
Mekong
"The bristling re-bar of city construction gradually melted into closely spaced houses of cement or thatch, interspersed by an occasional cesspool. The urban sprawl ended abruptly and the Mekong began. The Mekong! Pearly white gravestone standing like teeth in the dense green rice, multicolored pagodas with rooftop dragons clawing at a cloudless blue sky, and her flocks of motley ducks flowing like quicksilver from one paddy to the next. It was the perfect prelude to the Ho Chi Minh Trail - three weeks cycling from village to village, learning the language, the customs, and getting the know the people."

Excerpt from Hitchhiking Vietnam

map DIRECTIONS:
Unlike most of Vietnam, you can get lost in the Mekong. Bring a map.

GEOGRAPHY:
Flat and soggy, like a pancake with too much syrup on it. Bridges are the tallest things in the Delta. Many miles inland you can still see the tidal effects on the narrow canals.

WEATHER: It rained ALOT when I was there...


THINGS TO LOOK FOR:
  1. White gravestones in green paddy.
  2. Crocodiles in the estuaries down south.
  3. Clam diggers in the delta mudflats.
  4. More varieties of boats than you can possibly imagine.
  5. Most of the canals are lit at night by candlight lanterns.

FACTS:

  • In Vietnam the Mekong River is called the "Song Cuu Long" - the River of Nine Dragons.

  • The Mekong Delta produces enough rice to feed the entire country (and exports a great deal).

  • The Mekong River is 4,500 km long. Its source is in Tibet and it flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam before emptying into the South China Sea.

"The clouds drew back to uncover the piercing blue of newly washed skies. The saturated ground carried the scent of fresh, moist earth. The cacophony of crickets ebbed and flowed, like an orchestra tuning its instruments. Soon they launched into full symphony, louder than the rain had been, loud enough to drown out the sound of motorcycles puttering along the path outside, loud enough to raise my voice to be heard across the tiny room. I again stood under the eaves and strained my ears, trying to hear beyond them, to other emerging wildlife. There was nothing. No warbling birds, neither bullfrog nor scurrying rodent. Everything had been eaten in this overused land until the only sound left was the trill of uncooked insects."

Excerpt from Hitchhiking Vietnam

Central Highlands || Halong Bay || Hanoi || Highway 1 || Mai Chau

Mekong || Saigon || Sapa || Sapa Valley || Son La || Tafin || The Loop

KARIN'S STORY || LIFE IN VIETNAM || DESTINATIONS || TRAVEL VIETNAM
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