A Travellerspoint blog

Vietnam

Along The Mekong River

Vietnam and Cambodia

Across the Great Mekong River

This was the most amazing experience i had during my visit to Cambodia and Vietnam .The great river is the seventh largest in Asia and covers Cambodia, Vitnam , Laos , Mynamar . It forms the very fertile mekong delta in Vietnam .This is a lush green region of swamps , lakes and river which is also called the rice bowl .Rice is produced in this region and is a stable diet in the region , Rice is enjoyed in the orient , along with various types of soups and gravies . The river is mainly grey in colour , muddy at times and at times green when it reaches the swamps. Low trees with thick foliage cover the narrows straits of the delta. One has to use wooden boats to take a ride in these swamps . Jackets are provided to travellers in advance . One can see tea shops on boats and women selling biscuits , water and cola all paddling away in the river . Man selling vegetables , food and artefacts . It reminded me at times floating across the dull lake in Srinagar . I got a similar feel when i was going through the various floating markets in the lake . Selling snacks , shawls , perfumes , handcraft and saffron .

The bank of the mekong river is littered with wooden huts where the farmers live .They make their living of the river either fishing or growing crops . These are poorer areas on the country lots of women return here after working as escorts and prostitutes in the city . I travelled from Siem Reap to Pheno Phem on a large motor boat .It was a 10 hour journey through the mekong river . I at on top of the boat and enjoyed the rich of blood and wind blowing across me . I had the local Ankor Beer to give me company . The intoxicating smell of the river , near by vegetation and the open sky was all that i could see . As some of my fellow travellers became in grossed in conversation and chit chat. Little children pester the tourists and take their photographs these are printed on mug’s and plates as drawing room memorabilia . Sold for a few dollars which is a very welcome currency in this part of the world.

I enjoyed chatting to the local boatman who was ver pissed with tourist fromTaiwan and China , because they don’t tip well and are very stingy . My boat stopped near a floating restaurant . Here i tried having fired snake . These i gulped down with beer and green salad . To me it tasted like fried fish . Now i can safely say i have enjoyed eating snake meat . I rested myself for a while , before we departed to see a floating children’s school on the river . I donated two bag’s of rice to the poor children here and prayed for my fathers soul. The children were joyful and also touched by my loving gesture of help.The mekong was like a mother to the region in it’s belly it caries more then a 10,000 species , as it meanders through nurturing the region .

Posted by Anuj Tikku 17:30 Archived in Vietnam Tagged river Comments (0)

Citi Bank Magic

Ho chi minh City Vietnam

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View Seoul Korea on Anuj Tikku's travel map.

Life is unpredictable. So it is said.

On a cruise at Hanoi bay I was having a whale of a time on the topdeck, sipping the best of cocktails, playing with the little umbrella, the deck swaying to the waves slapping the sides of the tourist yacht. Then came the tailspin. I felt my pocket to take out my wallet and realised I had lost it while I had been frolicking around and chatting with fellow travellers.

I felt like Robinson Crusoe, shipwrecked on an island a few thousand miles away from home. I had no clue where I had left the wallet. Panic-stricken, I asked everyone on board, the crew members, the stewardess, the deck incharge. But there was no wallet to be found. I had to catch a connecting flight to Ho Chi Minh city and luckily for me I had paid my hotel bills and a taxi had been booked and pre-paid for the drive to Hanoi airport.

I called up my Relationship Manager Tarun Dhinga and Branch Manager Amit Aggarwal in Delhi. This was a “May Day” message. I was advised to visit the Citi Bank Branch in Sun Wah Tower at Ho Chi Minh City and they would be able to give me emergency cash after I showed them my passport and gave them my account number. My nerves settled down, my heartbeats lowered, I took a deep breath. Wow, was it that simple?

Next I searched around to locate my passport and found it in the travel bag. I slept peacefully that night. Reached Ho Chi Minh city the next morning and took a scooter directly to the Citi Bank branch. I was welcomed by Luu Nguyen Anh Khoa, the Relationship Manager. After I explained my predicament to her she quickly took charge of the situation.

Then it was a matter of 10 minutes. I only had to fill a simple form, give copies of my passport. After a few quick telephonic checks and one e-mail sent from my Delhi branch, I had cash in my hand, the entire amount in the local currency.

All in no time as I leisurely sipped a hot and delicious coffee and chatted with Luu in the Citigold lounge. I loved the coffee, I loved Luu, I loved Ho Chi Minh city and most of all, I loved the ease with which Citi Bank’s Delhi branch had liaised with their Ho Chi Minh counterparts that I, a total newcomer in a strange city was coming to seek crucial assistance from them.

Travelling the world at that time looked so easy. I became an even firm believer in the concept that the “world is a village.” I did some recording and took some photographs in celebration of this major event during my travelthon. This was something that I definitely had to share on my blog. So watch the video and see the Citi Bank Magic unfold.

It proves that some things in life are predictable, like a replacement of your lost Citi Bank card.

Posted by Anuj Tikku 12:25 Archived in Vietnam Tagged bank Comments (0)

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