Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Day 18 - River Cruise Day 7 - Cruise to Vietnam

After breakfast this morning the ship was moved to wait for the arrival of the customs officers before we sailed for Vietnam. This is our last look at Phnom Penh before heading to Vietnam. Today we stay on board all day watching the sights on the banks of the river.

The history of Vietnam begins around 2,700 years ago. Successive dynasties based in China ruled Vietnam directly for most of the period from 111BC until 938 when Vietnam regained its independence. Vietnam remained a tributary state to its larger neighbour China for much of its history but repelled invasions by the Chinese as well as three invasions by the Mongols between 1255 and 1285. The independent period temporarily ended in the middle of the last 19th century. During WWII Japan expelled the French to occupy Vietnam, though they retained French administration during their occupation. 

A view of our sister ship with APT still docked in Phnom Penh.

The joining of the Tonle Sap and the Mekong Rivers. The Mekong is the less muddy of the two rivers. The Mekong Delta the "Nine River Delta" is the region in south western Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of south eastern Vietnam of 39,000 sq km. The size of the area covered by water depends on the season.

The inhabitants of the Mekong Delta region are largely ethnic Viet, with Khmer minority populations living primarily in the Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, and Muslim Cham in Tan Chau, by An Giang provinces. There are also sizable Hoa (ethnic Chinese) populations in the Kien Giang and Tra Vinh provinces.

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