Cambodia and Vietnam were countries that were never on our ‘bucket list’ for places to travel. Having lived for so long in a third world country in Africa, Ronnie and I had little desire to visit another poor country. However when an opportunity came up we decided to go and have a look - a ‘look’ which turned out to be one of the best travel decisions we have ever made!
The trip began with us flying in to Siem Reap where we spent 2 days. Our first stop was the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the great Khmer Empire, and then on to Ta Prohm . Surrounded by jungle its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees which envelop the stone like tentacles and giant claws. That afternoon we visited the famous Angkor Wat, arguably the largest religious building in the world, with a volume of stone equalling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt.
|Angkor Thom||Ta Prohm|
Our third day took us on a 5 hour road trip to the port of Kampong Cham where we boarded our river boat the RV Tonle Pandaw for a 7 day cruise on the Mekong river. What a wonderful experience as we stopped at many places along the way to discover local markets, fishing villages and the locals producing amazing craft work.
We even had a special treat in Phnom Penh when we had our own private cyclo tour, which took us to the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum.
After a wonderful 7 days on the river we disembarked in My Tho and said a sad goodbye to the fantastic staff and new friends we had met on board. The final part of this great trip gave us 3 days in Saigon where we visited a number of famous attractions like the Reunification Palace, Vietnam war museum, and the Jade Emperor Pagoda.
It would be amiss of me not to mention the organised chaos of hundreds and hundreds of non-stop scooters that fill the streets of Saigon. They were fascinating to watch but a nerve wracking experience each time when one had to cross a road!!