Sunday, July 29, 2018

Cycle Mekong Delta Day 3 Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh

The original plan was to cycle from Phnom Penh to Vietnam crossing the border with our bicycles but due to time constraint we have to take a bus. The express bus do not stop places in between the 2 cities hence we have to re-route our proposed exploration of Mekong Delta starting from Ho Chi Minh and will loop back to Ho Chi Minh.
We waited anxiously for the shuttle van to fetch us from the hotel to the the bus terminal.
The express bus we took was Giant Ibis from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh with 3 stops in between at US$18.00 per person. Ticket can be purchased online.
There was panic when we opened the lower compartment and saw that it was almost full. After a quick re-arranging of the luggage we were able to find space for our bicycles. We were charged additional US$5 for bicycle which we think it's an unofficial request and suspected that the money went to a third party. On the bright side the seat was comfortable with provision of power point and free wifi. 
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Here we were in Giant Ibis bus for a 6 hour journey which has good reviews in the cyber world. The other alternative bus company is Mekong Express. Photo credit : Jotaro Zen
Goodbye Phnom Penh as the bus slowly moved out of the city for the highway.
A stop for toilet use at this petrol station called Tela Station somewhere in the vicinity of Prey Veng Province.
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Passing by this 2km-long Neak Loeang bridge which was completed in April, 2015. It is the longest bridge in Cambodia. We were supposed to stay a night at Neak Loeang if we were to cycle instead of the bus journey.
As we approaches Bavet we could see many casinos along the highway which is located close to the international border gate between Cambodia and Vietnam.
Just like Las Vega and its outskirts with many casinos and apparently most of the patrons are from Vietnam. Bavet is the poorest province in Cambodia and these casinos have help to enhance its economy.
Crossing the border at Bavet Border Post with a beautiful building. We had to bring down our luggage including our bicycles to clear the the immigration and custom at Vietnam side. Some of us were equipped with foldable trolley which came in handy to maneuver the clearance.
Stop for a simple lunch at Prestige Duty Free shop within the building of Moc Bai International Border Checkpoint.
The bus stopped at Pham Ngu Lao also known as backpacker street in front of Liberty Hotel Ho Chi Minh. We spotted this corner to set up our bicycle,
We made a few enquires a couple  at the nearby hotels and decided to stay at Saigon Hotel 237 (also known as Hanh Hoa).
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We were recommended to have our dinner at Asiana Food Town located opposite where we were staying. It was a good recommendation with a variety of foods to choose including dessert and some convenient stores.
Our selection of Vietnamese food for the evening. We enjoyed the dinner with some sweet dessert.
At a comfortable and conducive atmosphere for a decent dinner.
A walkabout at Bui Vien Walking Street, a vibrant atmosphere and many entertainment outlets besides the pubs and eatery houses.
There are many interesting narrow alleys to be combed with many food outlets, hotels and entertainment joints found within this congested space.
Some of the scenes tucked at the narrow alleys of Bui Vien walking street. 
On the main section of the walking street.
The many entrances to these compact community via narrow alleys and houses are small with ladder to the upper floors and they are really compact. A good night for Day 3.

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