On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rach Gia-Cantho

Total Distance:139.66km
Total Time:6h47m38s
Average Speed:20.5km/h
Maximum Speed:34.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:4049.73km

After arriving in Ha Tien, I headed to the island of Phu Quoc. It was a nice place to lay on the beach and relax. However, aside from that there's not a lot to do there. It was a little over-priced and, after just two nights, I thought it was best to head back to the mainland before I ran out of money. I took a boat to Rach Gia, about 100km from Ha Tien. I guess that's cheating a little, but I still have a long way to go. I'm sure I'll more than make up for it. Rach Gia serves pretty much only as a hub to and from Phu Quoc. I was a little surprised by it's size. It is quite a bit larger than I would have imagined. I spent the night there, and the next morning I was off to Cantho.
Riding through Vietnam is much different than anywhere I've been so far. Traffic is insane. The roads are generally pretty good, which was a nice change from my last couple of trips through Cambodia. The way from Rach Gia to Cantho is very populated. Every time one town ends, a new one begins. There is quite a few towns that are almost like miniature cities. Shopping centers, electronic stores, and high buildings line the streets. It was nice to be emerged in something so different from where I have just been. However the crowded streets do make for a fair amount of noise. Riding your bike through roaring motors and honking horns for six and a half hours can wear on you.
Of course, I got lost on my way to Cantho. There is a point where the highway forks into three. At first I went left, continuing for ten kilometers before realizing I was headed the wrong way. So I went back and tried right. Again, after five kilometers, I realized I was going the wrong way. I went back one more time, taking the last turn that was left to take. Obviously, it was the right one. I guess I should have opted to but that GPS system afterall.
Cantho is great. I'm really enjoying myself here. Today I took a boat tour of the Mekong river. They take you to a couple of floating markets, and then down the canals for a slow paced relaxing tour. It was really nice. A great way to unwind. I strongly suggest anyone headed this way check it out. It's a little pricey, but well worth it.
Tomorrow I'm off to Saigon. Attempting to bike into it should be one of my biggest challenges yet. I hear the traffic there is some of the worst in the world. Cross your fingures for us!

No comments: