Overnight cruise to Tan Chau. Scenic Freechoice - Tra Su Forest
02.02.2017 - 02.02.2017 32 °C
Up at 6 am, breakfast at 6.45 am and on the bus at 8 am for the visit to Tra Su Forest Bird Sanctuary. Phil has decided to be lazy and stay at home. About 12 of us went on this excursion and the getting there was a huge part of actually visiting the bird sanctuary.
First we had a speed boat ride for 45 minutes to Chau Doc where we disembarked at the Victoria Hotel Wharf for a Happy Room visit. Then we boarded a bus for another 45 minute ride. I thought I might snooze on this leg, but no, the surrounding scenery was too lovely to miss. We were driving through the food bowl of the Mekong Delta with just miles and miles of beautiful green rice paddy fields. Also, there was a lot of traffic and it is still Tet New Year and lots of people are on the move, so the traffic was interesting, to say the least. Our bus seemed to be driving on the wrong side of the road for most of the trip, passing all the motor bikes, but with cars and trucks coming straight for us. How we avoided a collision, I'll never know.
We got off the bus and walked about 800 metres through a village to our next mode of transport - a motorised sampan. This little girl kept saying hello and I would say Sin Jao and she would say hello.
Then we boarded a sampan for a reasonably short ride to the place where we boarded, two to each boat, a canoe with a rower and off we went through the forest to see the birds. It was just beautiiful. It was like a combination of Kakadu in Australia, the Everglades in America and the Amazon in South America. We saw and heard lots and lots of birds as it is still the nesting period time, but many were flying and hard to identify. We did see a magnificent blue Kingfisher.
Then in no time, we reversed the journey and returned to the Scenic Spirit in time for lunch.
After lunch we set sail for the Cambodia border and when we arrived, we dropped anchor and waited. The Cambodian authorities came on board and took our passports ashore to check them, stamp them, and issue us with Cambodian visas. Meanwhile Paula delivered a very good presentation on Cambodia.
Phil was asleep so I had a jacuzzi on the balcony and started to read a book that Peter, our next door neighbour gave me "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" which is written by the same author who wrote "The Tea Planter's Daughter", which I have read and enjoyed.
Back up to the Sun Deck to see a traditional Vietnamese Lion Dance performed by some local boys - to say goodbye Vietnam and hello Cambodia. Then a port talk by Paula and down to the cabin to dress for our Gala Dinner.
We sat with Peter and Angela from the UK, David and Margaret from Melbourne, Michelle and David from Brisbane and Elfie and Ingrid. We had a very delicious meal and lots of fun, laughter and stimulating discussion.
We set sail for Phnom Penh at about 7.30 pm and will be docked by the time we wake up.