Elephant No. 26 – Sam Mountain, Vietnam

 

Our final day in Vietnam was spent in Chau Doc, a town so close to Cambodia that at points you can see over the border into the next-door country. Perhaps predictably, it’s an area that has been ruled by Cambodia and Vietnam at different points, depending on whose power was stronger, and as a result has a very mixed population in terms of ethnicity.

We decided to spend our last evening in Vietnam climbing Sam mountain for views over the Mekong delta before catching a boat up river the following morning to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. So we caught four motorbikes to the bottom of the mountain with two Dutch girls, Isabelle and Hannah, and found at the foot of the mountain a collection of Buddhist temples and pagodas, one of which had a fine pair of black and white elephants outside (more pictures below of these nice elephants).

After admiring the elephants we walked up the mountain – though perhaps mountain is a bit of a strong word as it’s only about 250m high and it didn’t take very long. The way was lined with little temples all the way up, and houses perched off and around the rocks, and at the top we enjoyed a delicious beer while watch a phenomenal sunset over the whole Mekong delta. It’s so flat you can see for miles and miles in all directions – our Dutch friends said they felt very much at home!

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3 comments

  1. Apparently the Mekong delta us being really badly hit by damming and consequent loss of nutrients in the river as well as rising water levels. Is that true or was the BBC World Service making it up?!

    1. I read a BBC article about that also, but didn’t see any evidence of it in person when we were there, but I think it might be a long term issue that only affects small areas at the moment but has the potential for greater damage in future…

      1. I caught the same review on the main news after quartet last night! So it must be completely true! I think you’re right in that it’s a long term issue but they’re starting to see the effects already. Just thought you might be down there interviewing some locals…?!

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