Hello from Luang Prabang. We left Vietnam after almost 7 weeks, and after getting another page of our passport nicely decorated with a new visa, we entered Lao. In the last few days, between Vientiane and, well, Luang Prabang, which is where we are now, we got to soak up Lao’s infectious laid-back atmosphere. A much needed moment of sensory relax after Hanoi’s buzzing, highly sound-polluted environment.
As we got sucked into Vietnam’s high, intense energy our blogging and posting activites took a backseat to travelling and we ended up with several thousand pictures and half-baked ideas to accompany them… none of which saw the social media light.
Now, immersed in the mellow Laotian atmosphere, we get the tranquillity to look at our beloved blog from a different perspective and take an important decision: we will do more posting about recent travelling experiences, and in the meanwhile we’ll catch up with posts covering our wonderful Vietnamese trip.
Blogging about what we’re doing now, as opposed to blogging about what we did a long time ago, will be more rewarding and motivating for us, and will allow us to provide content that sounds fresher and hopefully connect more with our readers 🙂
But enough with that – let’s come to this photo-post presenting the highlights of our journey through the Mekong Delta, in Southern Vietnam.
The Mekong Delta region was part of Cambodia until the 17th century when it became Vietnamese territory. At the end of the 70’s, just after the American war (that’s how the Vietnamese call what we refer to as the Vietnam war), Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, attempted to reconquer the region and carried out a series bloody attacks into villages close to the border. The Vietnamese didn’t take it light-heartedly and their reaction led to the end of Pol Pot’s dictatorship.
Still, many Khmer live in the Mekong Delta along side with Vietnamese and Cham people, making for an interesting cultural mix which reflects in a variety of traditions, languages and religions.
The Mekong Delta may not be as aesthetically stunning and popular as some other places we visited in northern and central Vietnam, but it has a characteristic that we loved: it is genuine and generally unspoiled.
Our itinerary starts in Chau Doc, famous for its floating villages, its fish farms and its Khmer and Cham settlements. We went to Chau Doc all the way by boat from Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, sliding sweetly on the Mekong river.
We left Chau Doc for Ha Tien, where we made a quick stop on our way to Phu Quoc – a tropical resort Island which we visited in the hope of white sand and crystal-clear water, but which ended up in a little bit of a disappointment. Still, we managed to take some sunset pictures from one end of the main beach…
After one very expensive night in Phu Quoc (that’s what can happen when you don’t book in advance) we took a boat to Rach Gia. Not much to say about it, as we quickly moved from here to Can Tho, which, largely owing to its floating markets Cai Rang and Phong Dien, is one of most popular destinations in the region.
Finally we went to the friendliest Tra Vinh, located on a dead end, well off the beaten path. The highlight of our stay in Tra Vinh were the locals – we got to meet and interact with many of them despite the language barrier.
It’s all for now, we’ll be back soon with more stories and pictures.