Posts Tagged With: SE Asia

Some Reap, Cambodia to Phnom Penh

We spent the next couple days wandering around town and revisiting the Angkor Wat complex of temples. The first time we were there the buses all arrived after sunrise and the complex got so crowded I couldn’t stay to see some of the other temples. It was Chinese New Year this week and the Chinese were here visiting by the bus load.

One of the temples, Ta Prohm, is in pretty much the same condition that it was found. It has been on the UNESCO list since 1992 and is now the most visited temple in the complex. The surge in popularity is in part due to being in the movie Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie.

Modern stone carver from India

Tomb Raider

The jungle will always win

You walk toward the temple on a path encompassed in a dense jungle. As you near the temple the dense jungle foliage has been trimmed back, but the large trees that have attempted to swallow the temple are still in place, soaring to hundreds of feet with their bases still rooted in the stone as the European explorers would have found them.

One of the most famous spots in Ta Prohm is the so-called ‘Tomb Raider tree’, where Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft picked a jasmine flower before falling through the earth into…Pinewood Studios.

Falling walls

We ended up changing hostels the next day to the Overflow Guesthouse. There were a group of seven young adults also staying there on the , on a multi- denominational Christian mission that led them around the world over a nine month period. Have a great time, team Y.
The next afternoon we had to check out a hostel called the Funky FlashPacker. It’s known as a party place and it lived up to it’s reputation.

Melanie and Anna from England

A couple drinks in and we were part of the fun, sorta like fun grandparents. We each had a double shot of a boiling drink (maybe baking powder) followed by a Red bull Jägerbomb.

Even Melanie added to the world score card with one.

World score board.

We finally were ready to move on and booked a fast boat down the Tonlé Sap into Phnom Penh, a 7 hour boat ride. After strapping the luggage to the top of the boat and finding a seat we headed to up to above deck to sit on the roof.

Luggage strapped down, people not.

There were no railings on this boat so your safety was pretty much on you. With the long skinny boat underway and up to speed, about 40 kts, the boat was somewhat stable but would tilt way to the side with any change of course from straight. Amazing enough, no one fell off!

Floating party island

Still on board

Fisher families with nets

In the middle of the enormous lake there was nothing but water in all directions. As we neared the delta the water got so shallow I could have walked.

The sides of the river slowly closed in and with the deeper water we got up to speed again. Passing the floating villages, fisherman in small boats and stilt houses on the water’s edge have you a feel of the humble life the Cambodians lead that live near the water.

Friendly Cambodians everywhere

Hang on Melanie

Stilt homes

Floating villages

City on the river

We finally arrived in Phnom Penh in the late afternoon, found a hostel, and headed downtown on foot.

The palace was an enormous compound with a large park in front leading to the river. This joined up with a boardwalk running along the river.

Monks having fun

Family time in town

Temple by the river

Hundreds of families, couples and monks all shared the space enjoying each other’s company.

Faces were all with smiles with kids and adults waving and saying hello as we strolled the same common areas.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Enjoying the Riverwalk at night

Cambodian/Vietnamese Peace Memorial

It’s always so wonderful to see such happiness, especially knowing that 40 years ago, 3 million Cambodian people of a population of 8 million, were killed by the Khmer Rouge.

But that’s for the next time.



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Headed to SE Asia

We are finally off. The planning and looking at little squiggly lines on maps is done and the tiny bags are packed.

After a fun few months traveling the US seeing friends and family, followed by a month of chilling and saving some money, it’s time to get on the road again. Melanie’s sister Sharon is taking good care of our faithful pup Gypsy-girl. We will sure miss her but this trip is not doable for the 13 year old Puggle.

Where did Mom and Dad go?

Our kit for SE Asia is the smallest we have packed to date. Our 40 litre Mosko Moto bag will hold my clothes, Melanie’s clothes, each of our extra shoes for off the bike, bathroom kit and the dōTERRA oils wellness kit for all 2 months we are gone.

The total weight is only 32 pounds, which will be strapped to the back of our little Honda XL150. My bag, while holding 3 pairs of socks and underwear, 2 microfiber short sleeve shirts and 1 micro long sleeve shirt, 1 pair of zip off leg hiking pants and a bathing suit is compressed into a bag about the same size of my Vietnam map.

Our flight will consist of four legs, 2 the first day to get from El Paso to Phoenix and then to LAX. Then, after an overnight stay in the armpit of LA, we head to Taipei in the morning (13.5 hour flight), and then on to Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

The Taipei airport is one of the nicest we have been in. Every gate is themed with electric available and free WiFi and carts.

Gate area

Chinese postie bike.

We finally made it to Saigon. Our multi-entry, 90 day visa is placed into our passports before our luggage ever hits the baggage area. Such efficient, friendly people we have met so far. Leaving the airport about midnight resembles a mob scene, but we are told this is just normal for here.

That makes me a little nervous with the anticipation of riding our little Honda XL150. Off to the Airport hotel and some sleep, it’s been a long day.

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