Leaving Cambodia, Entering Vietnam

14 comments
Asia, Cambodia, Vietnam

After spending one day in Phnom Penh, I continued my trip to Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) in Vietnam. I booked for the bus a day earlier right away after I came to the guest house where I stayed at in Phnom Penh. Luckily, the bus ticket agent is located only 20 meters away from the guest house, so I could conveniently go there. My original plan was leaving for Vietnam by taking the earliest bus, which departs at 7.30 a.m. Unfortunately the bus was already fully booked, so I took the next bus which departs at 8.30 a.m. On the day of departure, a minibus picked up some passengers directly to their places of stay, including to the guest house where I stayed at, to the bus station.

In the bus a met some interesting people. The first is a Japanese man (probably around 60s or 70s of age) from Hiroshima who traveled alone. When the bus made a quick stop somewhere in the middle of the trip, he came to me and ask whether I bring Indonesian money or not. He told me that he is a numismatist and have collected banknotes from all over the world. I gave him my only crisp note of rupiah (Indonesian currency), which is a piece of 5000 rupiahs (about USD 0.60). Unexpectedly, he gave me a pack of Lotte chewing gums from Japan (although Lotte itself is a Korean manufacturer). What a simple but nice gift.

The other person is a New Zealander man who lives on an island off the coast of Darwin, Australia, and currently teaches English in Cambodia. I would guess that his age is also around 60s or 70s. Back in Australia, he is also involved in community development activities which focus on improving the standard of life of Aboriginal people who live on the island. He sat next to me and we had a very long conversation so that the 6-hour long trip didn’t feel boring at all.

At one point when we were still in Cambodia, we had to cross a river by using a ferryboat to continue our trip. That was also my first experience crossing a river aboard a ferryboat. It only took about 5 minutes to get to the other side of the river, but the New Zealander man and I got off the bus to take some photographs.

Bicycle and Car, Aboard The Same Ferryboat

Four hours after leaving Phnom Penh, the bus arrived at the border. Unlike my Thai-Cambodian border crossing experience, the Cambodian-Vietnam border crossing was a straightforward process. We didn’t have to change bus because the bus went all the way to Ho Chi Minh City (people drive on the right side of the road in both countries). At the Vietnamese checkpoint, all bags must be scanned though.

From the border, it took 2 hours to finally get to Ho Chi Minh City. My first impression towards the city was: so many motorbikes everywhere! They literally take control of Ho Chi Minh City’s streets. The scene became more dramatic when you see what happens in every road intersection. Swarns of motorbikes leave only a little space for other vehicles.

Motorcycles Rule The Streets of Ho Chi Minh City

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Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.

14 thoughts on “Leaving Cambodia, Entering Vietnam”

  1. Hey I have just recently started following your blog. I am currently an American living in Ho Chi Minh City. I hope you enjoy your time, the people are amazing

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    • Thanks for following my blog! such a honor for me.
      Well, the people are amazing, but the motorcycles are definitely not (if there is one thing I hate from Ho Chi Minh CIty is its traffic).

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      • Yeah the traffic is pretty crazy. I just take a taxi everywhere and leave the motorbikes to the pros. If you like beef you should try bo luc lac, it’s another traditional dish. I also have a blog about my stay here I just started if you are at all interested, it’s talesfromawearytraveler.wordpress.com

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      • Bo luc lac sounds like Lok Lak in Cambodia which is also made from beef. Is it similar?
        By the way, I just took a little peek to your blog and I can see that you just started blogging! Keep it up and share more stories of interesting things related to your struggle to adapt with a new and completely different culture.

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  2. Ahhhh! I can’t believe I’ll be there in a few short weeks. So excited! I’m not looking forward to the traffic though!

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    • Whoaa, you’ll be in Southeast Asia very soon. It’ll be unforgettable experience, I believe. 🙂

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  3. bamm ini foto2 lo yang ambil ya?? bagus-bagus.. udah mulai ahli nih ceritanya..
    -w

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  4. Hahaha baru baca yang ini… soal tuker2 uang itu. Ngalamin hal yang serupa di Bagan. Dia minta notes rupiah yg terkecil (Bongkar2 nemu 2000) eh dia malah kasih 5 Kyat yang udah sepertinya jarang banget di pasaran yg gambarnya masih Aung San. Wah jd maluuu krn nilainya kan tinggi.
    BTW, awal2 ini gaya menulisnya beda lhooooo hihihi…

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    • Waaah, kyat yang masih ada gambar Aung San udah langka banget tuh mbak. Tapi mungkin buat yang nerima rupiah juga udah seneng banget sih, meskipun nilainya gak banyak tapi namanya juga buat koleksi, hehe.
      Naaaah, bener banget mbak. Gaya penulisan saya di blog itu berevolusi. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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