Thursday, 12 April 2012

Vietnam and Cambodia in pictures part I

Given that Vietnam and Cambodia are only a couple of hour's flight from Hong Kong, they seemed the obvious Easter break choice. The fact that United Airways made it 12 hours away (thanks to bumping us off the flight) is a detail I'm just mentioning in passing in case any of you are thinking of ever-flying-United. I just-want-to-say: don't.

Anyway, flights aside, both Vietnam and Cambodia were wonderful. Cambodia lived up to its self-promoted "7th Wonder of the World" reputation, awarded to itself because it has so many bloody temples. Vietnam offered more surprises, which isn't saying much given that all I knew about the country before going was what I'd learnt in Form Four history class.

We started our trip in Siem Reap in Cambodia, which, by the way, has the most efficient visa system known to mankind (speaking of 7 Wonders).

Hotel in Siem Reap - think teak floors, fans and vintage cars. Rooms have a bath in the middle of them, a shower off to the side, another shower in the garden and a steam room. Needless to say cleanliness wasn't a problem.

The next two days then involved a lot of panting our way up and down stairs in temples, taking pictures of other temples from the temples we were on and having a guide talking with the most impossible accent on earth about how King Suryavaran II who ruled from 1113 c, sorry no, 1110 c, built Angkor Wat to worship Vishnu but then King Jayavaran VII took over and made it Buddhist which is why (pointing at the 100000th Linga) this Linga is etched over an original engraving of a Buddha (and vice versa). And so we went.

Bayon Temple - one of many ancient Khmer temples suffering from a Hindu/Buddhist personality disorder

Angkor Wat

Setting for the famous "hollywoo" movie: Lara Croft

Lots of bushwhacking here

Mildly useful info for anyone thinking of going to Siem Reap:
Stay at Heritage Suites Hotel
Don't get a guide to take you around the temples unless you want to hear the same thing over and over again
Eat at Hotel de la Paix for slightly over-rated South Beach Miami food, The Sugar Palm for "true" Cambodian fare. Hotel food was also delish

1 comment:

  1. Traveling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.