A Travellerspoint blog

Discovering the breathtaking temples of Angkor - Part 1

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We booked a taxi to drive us from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (5 hours) where we checked in a very pleasant hotel with a wonderful pool. The next morning, we took one of the hotel's tuk-tuks to start our week-long exploration of the Angkor temples and ruins. Needless to say, we were all completely breathless. Even Matthias and Oscar could not believe their eyes, especially at Ta Prohm, where trees have overtaken the ruins. After an intense morning in Angkor, we headed back to the pool and later on to Siem Reap for the best pizza in Cambodia! The next morning, we headed towards Angkor Wat which was huge and impressive and took the whole morning to explore. Once again, afternoon was for swimming and relaxing.

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Posted by AlainJacq 08:41 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

A pleasant surprise in Phnom Penh

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It was time for our last day in Vietnam, which we spent exploring Saigon... It's a big noisy city, and it was raining, so we decided to go to the War Museum, which used to be called Museum to Remember the Atrocities Committed by the USA, or something like that... no so good for tourism. A bit of shopping after that to forget the aforementioned atrocities... The next morning we said goodbye to our friends Isa, Dirk, Maxi and Charlotte, who left for Europe via Bangkok, and took a VIP bus to Phnom Penh. The trip was fascinating: spectacular rice fields landscapes, a very in interesting border crossing, and the amazing sight of modern casinos just on the other side (because casinos are not allowed in Vietnam). Our hotel in Phnom Penh was absolutely fantastic. The Swiss owner was friendly, rooms were boutique-looking, pool was relaxing, happy hour was a must. We really enjoyed Phnom Penh. It's kind of a laid back Hanoi, with more trees and less people honking, with a touch of chic European restaurants & hotels. We spent the first day touring the Imperial Palace and a few markets (we had a private tuk-tuk during our stay - very convenient). The next day we went to see the Killing Fields, where there was not much to see, but, it's still very impressive psychologically. In the afternoon, we did a bit of shopping and Oscar FINALLY got to ride an Asian elephant.
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Posted by AlainJacq 10:06 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Getting tight and cozy in the Cu Chi Tunnels

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After a splendid day in the Mekong delta, we went for another interesting trip with our favorite tour guide. This time, we went to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, built by the Vietcongs during the American war, which allowed them to infiltrate US defenses, escape underground and even hide from B52 bomBoy, I tell you those tunnels were NOT made for people my size... We also had a pretty gruesome demonstration of various horrific booby traps... After the tunnels, we went to see a mass at the most important Caodist temple, a religion very popular is South Vietnam (over 2 MM followers) that mixes elements of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism and Taoism.

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Posted by AlainJacq 09:04 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Exploring the Mekong delta

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After 4 relaxing days in Hoi An, we took an internal Vietnam Airlines flight to Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City as it is now called. Waiting for us was a big noisy fast moving city, a mega-Hanoi, and although Saigon has its charms, we fell compelled to immediately book some tours outside the city. The first tour the following day was a 1-day trip in the Mekong delta, near the city of Cai Be, 2 hours away from Saigon. Our tour guide was an extraordinary man, who used to teach French to college before joining the South Vietnamese, was sent to rehabilitation camps by the victorious North Vietnamese where he spent a year. There is no a single fruit tree on earth for which he does not know the proper French name. The day was very enjoyable, we saw how some villages make rice crepes for spring rolls (Vero gave it a shot), played with a snake, visited a floating market, transferred to small boats rowed by villagers, and had a great lunch right on the Mekong.

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Posted by AlainJacq 09:43 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Relaxing at Cua Dai beach

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We spent the last day in Hoi An relaxing at the nearby beach of Cua Dai. It felt a little bit short compared to the previous 2 weeks of pagodas, temples, cruises, night trains, trekking, tuk-tuks and many other activities... but we all enjoyed doing nothing for one day!

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Posted by AlainJacq 10:28 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

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