Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Motorcyle Diaries

August 1, 2010

We had a choice. Either take a gruelling 16 hour bus ride from Siem Reap to Pakse in southern Laos or pay $80 for a 40-minute flight. Ok, this wasn’t a hard choice but I was slightly concerned about the dodgy reputation of national airlines in this part of the world.

My doubts could not have been more misplaced. From start to finish Laos Airlines was the best flight experience I’ve ever had. The flight left 20 minutes early due to everyone being ready to go, we were given a meal despite the journey lasting just over half an hour, and we went through passport control (including applying for and collecting our Laos visas) in just 10 minutes. We were in Pakse two hours ahead of schedule.

But that’s where we waved goodbye to modern living and opened our arms to laconic Laos life.

On the road in Laos



AWE (the Angkor Wat Experience)

July 29, 2010

We were both eager with anticipation as our bus pulled into a stop in Siem Reap – for the next five days this would be our base from which to explore the fabled temples of Angkor.

Bayon at Angkor Thom



July 26, 2010

Phnom Penh is a surprisingly cool and cultured city. That is, compared to its South East Asian neighbours (not that hard). Once you get passed the usual mess of traffic and rubbish, there are lots of hip bars and restaurants and an array of interesting architecture from old school palaces and temples to very new school city mansions.

Decorative architecture in Phnom Penh

So what did we do in this capital of cool? We bought baggy travellers trousers and ate big bugs, of course.


Phu-n in the Sun

July 21, 2010

Having to spend a night in Rach Gia, quite possibly the most unpleasant and charmless town in Vietnam, before being allowed by the travel gods to embark on a stomach-turning three hour ferry ride through choppy waters with 3 metre swells was yet another example of how the best places on earth are the hardest to get to.

(Of course, we could have avoided that whole disappeared-hotel-reservation-get-put-into-another-hotel-room-more-like-a-windowless-cell-with-polyester-sheets-then-shouting-then-different-hotel-room-better-but-one-million-mosquitoes-and-rat-droppings-in-our-bed ordeal altogether by taking a direct flight to Phu Quoc from Saigon, but it made us feel like we earned the vacation.)

And when we finally escaped from the vomit fumes permeating our boat, we were delighted to be met by paradise.

Our front yard, for four days.


Suits and Scuba

July 9, 2010

After our first two weeks in Vietnam we were a little disappointed with the country. We had been really looking forward to visiting this region, famed for its amazing food, friendly people and picturesque coastline. Manna, who is probably the world’s number one fan of Vietnamese Pho soup, was particularly excited about Vietnam and had been dreaming of this trip for most of her adult life.

Yet, so far the people had been friendly only when trying to rip you off, the food was hit and miss, and the beauty was tainted by man-made pollution. But then we arrived in Hoi An and everything changed.

Hoi An by night