Trip Report: South and Central Vietnam

Trip Report, Vietnam and Cambodia January and February 2014 Vietnam is without a doubt one of the most comfortable, if not the most comfortable place in South East Asia to travel. Hotels are clean, very modern and most feature excellent breakfast buffets. Vietnam is a great place to bird in general because of the variety of birds and habitats. Many trip reports detail the number of endemics in Vietnam, especially the Laughingthrushes, and information is fairly easy to find before visiting. The birding sites are very well known throughout the country and most are easy to reach with public transportation. …

The $ Effect

One of the most confusing things while traveling is dealing with different currencies. Dollars, Pesos, Ringgit, Dong, Rupia, Tenge, Som, Riel and Rand have challenged us to some mental money gymnastics. Vietnamese Dong proved to be especially challenging – it’s just got too many zeros (1$ = 21.000Dong). So coming into Cambodia it could seem like a blessing that the country uses the US-Dollar as an official currency. They do have their own (Riel), but it is mainly used for small transactions and fractions of the Dollar. Hotels and stores will always quote in Dollars. But here is the tricky …

Less is more

Vietnam is coming to an end and our last main stop here was the Mekong Delta. This area is the rice bowl of Vietnam, there is a lot of agriculture here. It is also the most densely populated part of the country. It has seen a fair amount of war, but these things are not visible anymore today (except for the odd war-related museum or the occasional monument). The Mekong area with its orchards, floating market and river cruises also makes a very popular day-trip from nearby Ho Chi Minh City. In order to avoid the tourist masses, we chose …