Author Topic: Cambodia, Southern Vietnam and Southern Laos  (Read 2792 times)

Offline choozm

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Cambodia, Southern Vietnam and Southern Laos
« on: May 03, 06, 07:26 AM »
This is a cut & paste from my trip photo site.

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A 26-day backpack trip to Cambodia, Southern Vietnam and Southern Laos.

The trip started as the plane touched down at Bangkok airport around midnight. We headed straight to the northern bus terminal to catch the 4am bus to Thailand-Cambodia border. Around 8am, we crossed the border and began the 5-hour grueling ride on the back of a truck to Siem Reap, the base for visiting Angkor Wat. After settling down, we ended the first day by a visit to a hill-top temple for the sunset.

The following three days were for the tour in and around Angkor Wat (pictured left). We visited so many temples and we were kind of "temple fatigue" at the end. We also took lots of photos here. After Angkor Wat, we travelled to Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. Some of the places we visited include the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Russian market. We also visited the killing field and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (previously a prison and torture centre), where we were reminded of the brutal regime of Khmer Rouge.

After three nights in Phnom Penh, we crossed Mekong River and arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We spent the first day in city tour (china town, chinese temples, museum, cathedral). For the following two days we joined out-of-city tours to Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnel. The tunnel was one of many used by Viet Cong as their base during Vietnam War.

The next destination was Dalat, a highland resort destination. We spent two cool and relaxing nights there before continued to the north. On the way, we stopped for few hours at Nha Trang beach and finally arrived in Hoi An. It is an quiet small town that was once a busy port, like Melaka, with narrow streets and antique buildings. Its main attractions include handicraft shops and Hoi An specialty food. We continued northwards to central Vietnam and the last destination, Hue (pictured left). Hue is the ancient capital of Nguyen dynasty, the last Vietnamese dynasty. We spent the first day to visit the Citadel and Imperial City. On the second day, we visited the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) area, where the border of North and South Vietnam was, and the most heavily bombed area during Vietnam War. We followed the tour guide to visit places like historical combat sites, civilian tunnel for war shelter and museum.

After Hue we checked out in the evening and travelled to nearby Dong Ha for border crossing on the next day. We left Dong Ha early in the morning to cross the border to east of Laos, then traveled across the country to the west side and turned south to Pakse, where we spent a night there. The journey continued in the next morning, we crossed Mekong River to Champasak, our first destination in Laos. At Champasak, we visited Wat Phou (a Khmer city/temple and a UNESCO World Heritage site) and its museum. We woke up early next morning to enjoy the sunrise over Mekong River and watching fishermen busy making their catch (pictured left), right at our doorstep of the guest house on the river bank. After breakfast, we continued our journey to Don Khong Island for a two-day stay. On the first day, we cycled around the island, passing through scenic padi field and local villages. On the second day we visited two nearby islands, Khon Phapheng Waterfall (largest in Southeast Asia), and Dolphin-spotting at Mekong River.

It's near the end of the trip now. We went back to Pakse and spent one cool night there, having dinner and sipping Beer Lao in a 1970's kopitiam. The next morning, we crossed the border to Thailand and took an overnight train to Bangkok. We arrived in Bangkok in the morning, spent the day around the city for some shopping before catching the night plane back to Singapore.

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saw the dolphins far away, not very clear...

the trip is a loop, no overlap i think... oh, the itenerary is on this website -- CLICK HERE

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« Last Edit: Oct 11, 11, 04:02 AM by Karel »