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SE Asia Travel Log - For all TP'rs

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31. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Do you think she forgot about us :( .

32. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Nooo, no way in hell I forgot about you guys!! This whole trip went absolutely perfectly and as planned because of all your advise and posts.

I actually tried to get on a couple of times to post some of the latest but the site wouldnt go through. Who knows!! And I usually only have few minutes here and there to type.

Well, we have come to the conclusion of our trip. I think I left off in Siem Reap. Now I can say that that was my favorite part of the trip. I loved doing the temples, the sunset, the town's atmosphere, loved it all. The people are very humble, the Red Piano had the best food I have had here in Asia and the hotel was also ok.

I do recommend anyone going to the temples to take the tuk tuk. It isnt very close to the town but it is cheap. The first day we hired a car because we were told we needed a car ($20 a day) and that was unnecessary. The next day we hired a tuk tuk for about $5 to take us around the rest of the temples. They actually sit outside the temple and wait for you to take you to the next stop. We did 80% of the temples (that was enough) in two days. I think one day is not enough, three days is too much. Seven day is absolutely not necessary unless you are an archeologist. Then you can spend some time in the town, going to the market and walking around. And be sure to eat at the Red Piano, I cant emphasize that enough. It is one of the nicest place in SR and the average meal with a soda I think was $4-$5. Oh, before I forget...be sure to tell the Tuk tuk to take you to the Landmine Museum if you are going to SR. It is worth it. It is off Angkor Wat Road, off another dirt road and in the middle of pure poverty.

We left SR and headed to Phom Penh by speed boat. The boat was smaller because the larger boats cant make it through the lake this time of year. The lake is very low and raining season starts in May. We had to take a very small ferry to the boat, took the boat for about 3 hrs and switched to a bus for another 3 hrs. That part was rough. There is no denying that the roads in Cambodia are very bad but you can see the rest of the country side this way. And of course while riding the boat you can see the fishing villages along the way, the water buffalo in the water, the fisherman in their boats, etc etc.

We arrived in Phom Penh and there was something about this city I didnt like. The atmosphere wasnt right for me and Tommy felt the same way. It was strange, there was more begging, more poverty...maybe just as much as SR but I cant put my finger on it yet. We did visit the Royal Palace, the National Museum, the Killing Fields, TL S-21 Genocide Museum, that is a MUST in PP. I still cant get over some of the things I saw and read about. I definitely have received a history crash course on the history of Cambodia. I would recommend to stay along the Tonle Sap River. I can recommend a great place we found for $20 (for the two of us, a/c, cable, hot water, the works).

Wocca, we went to the Heart of Darkness, loved the bar! Thanks for the tip! We also went to eat to the FCC Building. That was a great place to watch the PP city life go by you from up above (the second floor).

We spent two nights in PP and the following morning we headed for a 7 hr bus ride to Vietnam (about 4 in Cambodia, 3 in Vietnam). Thee ticket was I believe $6.00 but if you arrive by bus, you have to arrange your visa before hand. That was $30 (we paid $37 because we landed in PP on a weekend and it was Buddah's birthday that day). Again, the roads in Cambodia were bad, very bad. Then we got dropped off at the bo

We had to walk about 500 meters to cross the border to Vietnam and we had another bus waiting for us in the other side. One thing I have to say about Vietnam, their roads are great! Comfortable ride into District 1 in HCMC. We got another great hotel for $15 (even nicer than the one in PP) in the backpackers area (around Pham Ngu Lao sp?)) It was called An An Hotel. Now remember that the prices for hotels that I am putting here include hot water, A/C, cable. There are many places half the price or less if you dont have those amenities.

We took a tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels, highly recommended. I believe that was $7-$8 and it is from 8 til 2 pm. It is outside of the city so it is best to take a tour. We walked the city and saw the War Remmants Museum, went to the markets. Oh, I even shot five rounds of a AK 47 rifle and 5 rounds of a K54 pistol (Russian) at the tunnels. We also went to the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Post Office. A great place to eat on Pham Ngu Lao and De Thram (the backpackers area) is called Allez Boo. Great food!

Anyway, the following day we headed to Danang really early (took a flight $53), did a quick tour of the town and headed to Hue by train. The one great thing I can say about the train is the views you get along the way. You see the beaches, the mountains, it is really beautiful. Once in Hue we booked a tour to the DMZ ($6.00) from 6 am to 6 pm. It is long because they take you pretty far. You see the old bases, museums, the Vinh Moc Tunnels (of the north), Ho Chi Minh Trail, the Ben Hai River (old dividing line bet the North and the South), go through Dong Ha and visit the ethnic minority villages, the Rocky Mountains (where the US set up some operations during the war), etc etc...few more things. Worth it. The hotel was great. It was called Sports Hotel ($15 with all the ammenities) on Pham Ngu Lao (yes, again in Hue, same name) off of Le Loi street along side the Perfume River.

When we got back, we took a cyclo around the rest of the town (it isnt very large so it was fast and easy) went for dinner, went to sleep. The next morning (today) we flew to Hanoi ($57). What can I tell you, we walked the entire town, inside and outside the Old Quarter (where I recommend people to stay), went to Museums, all the sites, the Presidential Palace, the HCM Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, the Hanoi Towers, Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake, Citadel, Hang Da Market, the walking tour thru the Old Quarter, Cua Bac Church, etc etc. It took about 6-7 hrs and about 4 bottles of large water. The heat!!!!!

The hotel here is on Ma May Street, I already forgot the name of it but it was $11.50 a night. Some guy at the airport gave us the info when we were leaving Hue and he even arranged transportation to have us picked up at the airport, which was pretty good since it isnt very close to the city. Sometimes you just get used to saying no no no no no, to everyone that approaches you. But sometimes they do have something that is worth hearing about. It is hard to tell. I am more willing to listen to what they have to say, Tommy has the NY attitude and he thinks he is still back in New York so we just doesnt want to be bothered. (Eve, I 100% recommend traveling alone, you can be even more confident now about that decision, trust me!).

We leave tomorrow morning for Bangkok and heading back home on Sunday finally. Shopping at Khao San Road will be our last stop. We will be staying at the D & D Inn on KSR, highly recommend by other backpackers. I have more detailed info for anyone that wants to build a good budget. I started with a tight budget but because we have such limited time here (and everything we wanted to see) that the budget went out the window.

I wanted to go to Kuala Lumpur from HCMC but the ticket was twice as much as we had expected to be. Sorry Hien . I lost that battle when Tommy wouldnt budge about the price since we could see the rest of Vietnam for a bit less than the ticket to KL. Another reason to be traveling alone, you dont have to compromise with anyone about your plans. But Hien, I WILL go to Singapore and Malasya hopefully next year. I will either be alone or I will bring the hubby with me. No more travelling companions for long vacations. BTW, Tommy was right next to me when I sent you a PM so I couldnt say much if you know what I mean.

Well ok guys. Anyone needing any info, please let me know. I am a pro at this now. Thanks to TP I had a wonderful vacation!!! Who said Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam couldnt be done in 17 days!!!!

33. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

I am so happy for you Anne! (and just a bit green;)) It sounds like you had an awesome time! Thank you so much for the emails and updates!

34. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

That sounds fantastic Anne. I'm looking fwd to a proper chat when you get back. ;)

35. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 11y

Quoting areinstein

... I wanted to go to Kuala Lumpur from HCMC but the ticket was twice as much as we had expected to be. Sorry Hien . I lost that battle when Tommy wouldnt budge about the price since we could see the rest of Vietnam for a bit less than the ticket to KL. Another reason to be traveling alone, you dont have to compromise with anyone about your plans. But Hien, I WILL go to Singapore and Malasya hopefully next year. I will either be alone or I will bring the hubby with me. No more travelling companions for long vacations. BTW, Tommy was right next to me when I sent you a PM so I couldnt say much if you know what I mean. ...

It's all right, Anne.
So next year it is then, Mr and Mrs Reinstein! ;)

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