Monday, November 8, 2010


Time is running away from me now. I have just two weeks to go before my journey ends. I am aware that I've not been updating this online diary so often, which is partly because I am travelling with my friend David from Wellington and we are doing so much that I don't get the spare time to write.

We crossed into Vietnam by land from Cambodia. The bus driver went at speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour and was a great fan of sounding his incredibly loud horn. Basically, no other vehicle had the right to be on the road and had to get out of our way.

The border crossing was smooth in leaving Cambodia, then slow in entering Vietnam because just one official was checking the passports of all 30 or 40 people on the bus. I bought a Viettel sim card from a woman at the border. It cost me $4 US and had more than that in credit. A week later I've still used only half of it. After a few days I've got the hang of the money. 20,000 Dong to a US dollar. It's possible to get through a million in one day.

The food in Vietnam is absolutely fantastic. So much variety by comparison to Cambodia. So healthy too. There's coriander and other salad leaves with everything. Noodle soup, called Pho, is available everywhere. You get to fill and roll your own spring rolls. At barbecue restaurants you cook the meat yourself (we had deer). As you may know, some people in the north of Vietnam eat dog meat. We have not tasted that, but we have picked at the tiny breasts of deep fried sparrows.

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