Adventures in Vietnam - Moc Bai, Vietnam

Moc Bai Travel Blog

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Moc Bai, Vietnam - Juanny à la frontière

Vietnam, here at last, here at last, thank God, we’re here at last!!  Pretty exciting stuff to know that we’ve reached the final country to be visited here in Southeast Asia!!  This time ‘round, of course!!

And what a great feeling it was to see its flag flying high, as we crossed the border from Cambodia and into Vietnam.  The day couldn’t have gone any better, really!!

We set out from Phnom Penh, pretty late, actually, and really didn’t expect to make it to Ho Chi Minh that very same day . . . but we did!!  Thank goodness, we ended up being blessed once again, as we ventured on the roads of Cambodia and now Vietnam.

First, as we made our way out of Phnom Penh, knowing it was going to be tough getting out of the city and realizing that we barely had the equivalent of a $1 in our pockets; we weren’t sure how the day was going to start off for us.

Moc Bai, Vietnam - The fastest ride ever!!
 

Luckily, though, it began brilliantly!  We caught a couple rides from a pick-up, and then a dump truck, before getting picked up by THE perfect ride, a Mercedes Benz, thank you very much!!!  But that wasn’t the best part, the fellas, themselves, made the whole experience great. 

Now, remember me mentioning an extraordinary businessman just in my previous entry?  Well, now it’s time for the story behind this guy . . . So, there we were just waiting for our next ride, when suddenly this Mercedes pulls over, and offers us a ride.

Inside were a couple of contractors, who were on their way to their work site, and were kind enough to pick up a couple of sweaty backpackers.  Man, I still can feel the cool air from the AC!!  Very much appreciated, especially when sweating your butt off in the blazing sun, waiting for a potential ride!!!

Anyway, we tagged along with them for a good while, before making a stop for lunch and then continuing onward.

Moc Bai, Vietnam - Même les ambulances s’arrêtent pour te prendre en stop!!
 And guess what, they decided to treat us to a delicious lunch, in addition, to giving us a lift!!  How great was that!  Over lunch, as we got to talking some more, we learned that their worksite, was actually the location of a primary school being built for the villagers.

The big boss man, asked us if we wanted to have a look at it, and assured us that afterwards they would drive us all the way to the border, instead of just to the town they were going to.  So, of course, how could we refuse!!

I was quite moved by his gesture of goodwill, especially after having heard his brief story of how he survived the Pol Pot regime, and now works to improve conditions in impoverished villages.

You see, this gentleman was robbed of his childhood, because he was put to work as a boy.  Now he dedicates his life to building schools in remote villages nearby the small town where he grew up as a boy, so that even the kids there have a shot at a better life.  It’s refreshing to know that he understands the importance of education and is willing to make a contribution.  The children of today are our future, after all.

And the excitement didn’t end there!  As we crossed the border into Vietnam, a brand-new adventure was in store for us, and we had no idea what to expect from this place!!  Would hitchhiking work here or not??  Bet you’re curious?!

Stay tuned in to find out how we made it to Ho Chi Minh City . . . :)  Hint: Can you notice anything funny about me in the photo here?! ;)

Et voilà, nous voici enfin au Vietnam, pour ne pas changer après une longue journée de route, on arriva à la frontière. Toujours ce contraste très fort quant on passe d’un pays pauvre à un pays plus riche.

Ces Casinos ouverts 24/24 juste en bordures de frontières. Les routes plus ou moins en bon état qui se transforment en autoroutes. Les drapeaux qui s’affrontent à longueur de journée, les messages de bienvenue et d’au revoir dans des langues et écritures incompréhensibles. Les taxis qui vendraient père et mère pour te prendre dans leurs voitures.

Après tous ces pays, je ne vois pourquoi on ne continuerait pas à faire du stop, et pour une surprise, ce fut une bruyante surprise : PIN PON PIN PON. Une ambulance s’arrêta. Elle allait justement à Ho Chi Minh, et je dois dire ce fut le trajet le plus rapide qu’on est eu en Asie.

Le mec conduisait juste comme un débile, il n’avait aucune raison de rouler vite, il utilisait la sirène continuellement. J’apprendrais d’ailleurs par la suite de nos aventures que les ambulances sont plutôt utilisées comme taxis rapides. Pour vous donnez une idée, à la place du brancard, ce sont des sièges...

Bref, on commençait à s’imprégner de la culture Vietnamienne a peine arrivé à la ville. Le chauffeur essaya de nous soutirer de l’argent avant de nous laisser partir gentiment. Il fallait commencer à s’habituer car se fut juste un avant goût de notre périple au Vietnam.

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photo by: rjgalvan77