Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 7 February 2007

Hong Kong, Saigon & the Mekong Delta

Officially a week into our trip, Jess and I have hardly found time to sleep!

A brief review of this past week:

  • We flew over the North Pole en route from Chicago to Hong Kong…a geographical perk that made the 15 hour flight slightly more interesting! We were also seated in the exit row, so we had about 4 feet of leg room. Pretty sweet.
  • No explanation needed.

  • We landed in Hong Kong, and were offered a chance to stay the night because our onward flight to Ho Chi Minh City (which I will hereafter refer to as Saigon….no one says HCMC) was overbooked. Essentially, we were PAID to explore Hong Kong (one of Asia’s most expensive cities) for two days, and were fed and put up in a swanky hotel, compliments of United Airlines. Thanks, UA. We explored the city center, Victoria Park, went up to “the Peak” to check out the skyline, hiked a bit, took a cable car to a funny tourist trap that also boasts the largest outdoors Buddha in the world.

Cable car passing the giant Buddha on Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

Giant Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
  • We arrived in Saigon on Saturday night and spent Sunday wandering around, getting our bearings, visiting the “War Remnants Museum”, eating pho, eating spring rolls, eating…
  • Nighttime in Saigon.

    Our first bowl of pho in Saigon

  • Monday/Tuesday we took a tour down to the Mekong delta. We spent the night in Can Tho, and visited the floating market, and a rice noodle factory, among other things. The oragnized tour wasn’t my cup of tea, but I guess it was nice to have someone else figuring things out for a change. I held a python, we drank “snake wine” (crap whiskey in a jar with dead snakes), and ate snake for dinner. When in the delta…

Holding a python! (sorry about the orientation….)

“Snake Wine.”

Dragon Fruit!

Floating Market in Can Tho.

  • We had a big night out in Saigon last night, so that we would be tired and able to sleep on our 9-hour bis ride up to Dalat today. The plan seemed like a much better idea last night than it was today! But, we have arrived, and the cooler, mountain air is very refreshing after the blistering heat of Saigon and the delta.
  • We are leaving Dalat tomorrow morning on a 5-day motorbike tour of teh Central Highlands. Should be fabulous, and a great way to escape the horrible 24 hour bus ride from here to Hoi An. We will have a 24-hour journey ahead of us from Hoi An to Hanoi, so we will enjoy riding in style, I’m sure.

Time and internet connectivity are hard to find at the same time…more the former than the latter, but both can be difficult nonetheless. So, I don’t know how often I will be able to post, but I will do my best to stay in touch!

Hope all is well.


  1. I’ve been dying for a post Helen! Hope you enjoy your motorbike tour and that there are no accidents! And I hope you love Hoi An! So far your trip sounds fabulous!!

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