Long Xuyen to Chau Doc

A very short 55 km ride today, therefore, a later start was in order, but still taking plenty of time to see things along the route.

Initially we had to run the gauntlet on leaving Long Xuyen with Giles volunteering to strap the GoPro onto a helmet to capture the many dangers that the group had to encounter in the fast lane and river of steel (motorbikes) whilst departing the hustle and bustle of a major city in the Mekong Delta - watch this space, www.thelongridehome.com.au and click on the YouTube icon for all our videos.

The team followed the busy roads and lifestyle along the canals (Rach) of the Mekong Delta. Lots of hammock stops to brew up and watch life whilst getting closer and closer to Cambodia. Rest day tomorrow so time to recoup, patch out and summarise the journey over the last 41 days of riding for myself and 7 days for Troy and Giles.

We had a great opportunity to do lifestyle interviews with some of the river people today. One lady in particular; Mrs.Nugyen Thi Kim Chi from Phu Tan District, An Giang Province a fixed address for her, but for the last 15 years she has lived worked, moved continuously up and down the canals and the Mekong River as a boat operator/ contractor (full-time lifestyle). Another item for TLRH YouTube later on.

A well deserved rest stop for all in Chau Doc tomorrow before a big 120 km ride to the Vietnamese/Cambodian border town Xa Xia the day after (Tuesday).

Wikipedia; The site of Chau Doc was long in history a territory of the Kingdom of Funan (Vietnamese; Vương quốc Phù Nam). The territory became Vietnam's around the 17th century. The town is near the picturesque mount of Sam where the Sam Mountain Lady (Vietnamese; Ba Chia Xu Nui Sam) is worshipped. The Sam Mountain Lady Ceremony is held every April of lunar calendar (May) every year.

"Mort Chrouk"(Khmer:មាត់ជ្រូក) was the Cambodian name Vietnamized in Chau Doc.

Chau Doc is the closest large town to the river border crossing into Cambodia. Aside from its river scenery and hilltop vistas, An Giang province, in the heart of what Cambodians consider to be Kampuchea Krom, bears many of the same war-time scars as neighbouring Cambodia. During the Khmer Rouge regime, Pol Pot's forces made a number of bloody incursions along the border with An Giang. In April of 1978 a massacre took place in the Vietnamese hamlet of Ba Chuc, some 50 km Southwest of Chau Doc, with over 3,000 people killed, a very sad time in Vietnamese history.

On a brighter note before the rest day tomorrow and changing countries the day after, I would like to take this special moment to thank the latest donors to the long ride home cause;

* Mike Dyer
* Jessica (my lovely daughter) and her partner Sua.
* Audette Exel

Thank you from The Long Road Home Team for your outstanding donations which is helping me get home to Australia for the finish in Sydney and for the cause.

Please keep the donations coming in for those who have been following the ride on www.thelongridehome.com.au. Donations can be made direct at mycause or to TLRH direct bank transfer. The website will give you all the information on how to make a donation.

I'd like to also take this opportunity to thank those folks who have been following the long ride, blogs, YouTube snippets and replies by way of likes and comments which are all very supportive and well appreciated to keep my spirits up whilst doing it tough getting down to Australia.

Well done!!! My warmest regards to you all.

xin chao va tam biet

Truck, Troy and Giles on the long ride home