Apr 29, 2011

Sensory Overload in HCMC

It's just dawned on us that Vietnam is a very very big country and we have a lot of ground to cover in just 30 days.  On one of our lazy beach days in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, with guidebook in hand, we identified a lot of places we want to visit,  so it looks like we will only be able to spend an average of 3 nights and 2.5 days in each.  It will be a busy month ahead.

Apr 27, 2011

Marathon Travel Day --Kampot to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

We had a very rude 'welcome' to Vietnam.  The day started off well, but soon turned into a 14hr saga, which was much more than we had bargained for.  At the end of the day, we did end up at our destination, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), fairly safe but very tired.

Apr 22, 2011

Cambodia--That's a Wrap

We’ve bid adieu to Cambodia after 28 days in the country.  We were a bit hesitant about it at first, but the verdict in case you haven’t noticed, is that we LOVED it!  Here’s our list of what we liked, disliked and were on the fence about:

The Good:

Apr 20, 2011

Spelunking in Kep

It's been really interesting so far seeing out kids in situations that they normally wouldn't be in at home and how they handle themselves.  For example, that they both climbed Ta Kao at Angkor Wat so confidently and without hesitation both surprised me and yet made me proud that they seemed undeterred by the wall of stone before them.  More recently, we explored a cave and found ourselves in a really tight spot.  Again, the girls tackled the situation head on whereas we were not so sure ourselves!

Apr 15, 2011

Beach Time in Sihanoukville

While it’s great to catch local festivals and holidays when you are travelling, it can also be a real pain in the a**.  Demand for transportation and accommodation increases, prices are raised and availability is severely hampered.  In Cambodia, it’s Khmer New Year time and we’re spending it here in Sihanoukville, on the Gulf of Thailand.

Occheuteal Beach, Sihanoukville

Apr 8, 2011

Leave It To The Tuk Tuk Drivers

You know when you get one of those ideas that seems good at the time?  Well, we had one of those the other day while in Battambang; in retrospect, what were we thinking??!!!  We got more than we bargained for in the end, yet accomplished less—but of course, a lesson learned!

Apr 6, 2011

More Battambang

First impressions are a funny thing—they can make or break the deal.  When we first arrived in Battambang, we were NOT impressed.  While not firmly on the tourist trail, nevertheless we have heard many good things about it and the Cambodians themselves seem to like the city.  Plus it had the Bamboo Train and the Phare Ponleu Selpak circus.   But Battambang turned out to be one of those places that can grow on you if you give it a chance.

Sangke River

Apr 4, 2011

By-Products in Battambang

We arrived yesterday in Battambang after an incident free 4.5hr journey from Siem Reap.  Strange town, or should I say city actually as it is the second largest city in Cambodia with a population of approximately 140,000.  While most streets in the city centre are paved, they are strangely quiet although all lined with multi-storey mostly French-colonial style buildings.  There are again few cars interspersed with motor scooters, tuk tuks, bicycles, pedestrians and also the occasional pony and cart!  After 9pm, the city streets become deserted.  But beyond the city’s limits lay many Khmer Rouge- era legacies (or by-products) to pay respect to as well as a few pre-Angkorian era ruins to explore and that’s what we’re here to do. 

A Battambang Tuk Tuk

Apr 2, 2011

New Territory: Cambodia and Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

We’ve been looking forward to visiting Cambodia with our family, although with a bit of trepidation due to the fact that neither of us had visited before.  But from the moment that we stepped foot in this country (and even in the moments leading up to it), our minds were put to rest and good karma seemed to be finally on our side.  We’ve been so impressed with our time here so far, and feel very happy and relaxed.

We were doing a ‘land crossing’, independently of course, and the first of this trip.  After our last rabies shot at The Thai Travel Clinic in Bangkok, we took the 1:05pm 3rd class train  to Aryanya Pratchet, in southeastern Thailand.  We didn't arrive until 6:30pm so 
we spent the night before crossing over first thing after breakfast on foot to Poipet, Cambodia.