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Travelling the world, hopefully with a cuppa in hand

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New photos from Thailand and Cambodia

Only in Cambodia

We’ve arrived safely in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and after wandering about a bit and trying some local beef pho soup, we spent the evening in our room watching Harry Potter and the half blood prince on HBO.  This morning thought I’d catch up on posting some photos that we’ve taken since Tibet.  There’s two albums; one for Thailand and one for Cambodia and covers the period of Christmas and New Year. Hope you all enjoy!

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A quick post

Just a quick post at 7am while we’re waiting for the bus to pick us up to take us from Phnom Penh across the border to Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as it used to be called) in Vietnam. We’re really excited to be going to Vietnam as it was one of the places we’d allowed a little bit more time for before we’d left. We were a little disappointed with Phnom Penh. We have only spent a couple of days here, but it just felt to us like a large town with not much going on. We did enjoy walking down by the river front (We think its the Mekong river but we might be wrong…), and we also visited one of the schools that the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot converted into a prison and tortured then killed a lot of people. This was all quite recent history – happening towards the end of the seventies, and the leaders are only just beginning to be tried in the international court. We wish we’d been able to spend a bit more time in rural Cambodia and we did look a bit into volunteering, but we think we’ll try and plan that for later in our trip. Ok I’d better go, Vietnam here we come!

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Pedal power in Cambodia

Freewheeling on our bikes

Our New Year coincided with a visit to Cambodia, primarily to visit Angkor Wat, but we’ve been surprised by the country too. We were expecting something more rustic and less discovered compared to Thailand but what we’ve found in Siem Reap is a tourist industry to rival Bangkok. One in every two visitors to Cambodia visits Angkor Wat so perhaps it’s not surprising that as the closest town to the site, Siem Reap is so bustling.

The temples (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and many others) lie about 6km to the north of the town and we decided to hire bikes for a few days so we could explore under our own steam. Beating the crowds and the sunrise required two early starts, leaving before 5am, but cycling along the leafy roads in the cool air on our way to the temples is it’s own reward. We have to admit to being underwhelmed by our first day spent looking around Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, whether due to tiredness, the heat or lack of knowledge of the site’s history and meaning, we’re not sure, but we really enjoyed our second visit today. We focused on some of the more dilapidated temples including Ta Prohm and Preah Khan where the forest is beginning to swallow the buildings, with giant tree roots spanning walls and gripping columns.

Tomorrow we’re swapping the bikes for the bus as we travel to the capital, Phnom Penh, as the first stage of a two-day journey to reach Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. We’ll try to post another update from there. Happy New Year everyone!

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