Displaying items by tag: vietnam

Monday, 26 February 2024 11:05

Vietnam and Cambodia

IMG 6023Our trip of almost three weeks to Vietnam and Cambodia included hotel stays, a seven day cruise and various forms of transportation that consisted of a motorbike food tour, rickshaw, ox cart and Tuk Tuk rides.

The most difficult aspect of the trip is the extensive flying as Vietnam is halfway around the world from Philadelphia.

Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, we explored quite a bit by foot. Our arrival coincided with Tet ( the Lunar New Year) which meant there were decorations and festivities everywhere. The city is basically safe for tourists but you must be extremely careful when crossing streets as everyone pretty much ignores the traffic signals and goes no matter the color. We found this to be true in Hanoi as well. The most interesting venue in Ho Chi Minh City was the War Remnants Museum where the “American War” is represented through the rhetoric of the Vietnamese government. But the most fun we had was riding on the back of a motorbike and stopping at six different places to sample Vietnamese street food.

Our cruise on the AMA Dara was very enjoyable even more so due to the attentive service of the crew. The ships decor reflected the Asian influence of our surroundings. Every day we ventured off the ship to explore the many villages of the Mekong River.

In Cambodia, the most sobering tour of our visit was to the Killing Fields. Our guide, Buntha, was a survivor of the Killing Fields and his first hand account of the atrocities was bone chilling.

Our ship overnighted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and we decided to have dinner at Malis, a local restaurant recommended by the ship. After a delicious dinner, our Tuk Tuk driver waited while we explored the night market.

But the true highlight of the trip was our visit to Angkor Wat. Most of us decided to join the sunrise tour which left the hotel at 5am. It was a truly spectacular morning and we arrived back at the hotel for breakfast and time to sit by the pool at our beautiful hotel in Siem Reap.

We flew to Hanoi and were pleased to arrive to temperatures in the 70’s which were much appreciated after the 80’s and 90’s of the previous days. Hanoi was very similar to Ho Chi Minh City with motorbikes everywhere but seemed a little more Communist in that the people seemed to be very careful with their statements. Certain topics were not to be discussed.

Before our last night in Hanoi, we overnighted on a lovely ship in Halong Bay where we had many excursions to the various surrounding islands.

Upon returning back to Hanoi, we explored the Old Quarter on our own. The city was very festive as it was enjoying the last moments of celebrating the Year of the Dragon.

Published in Our Travel Blog