Australia · 19 Days · 19 Moments · November 2016

Jade's Adventures of Vietnam and Cambodia

29 November 2016

29/11 A river boat cruise along the Mekong was beautiful and different. Seeing Vietnam from a new perspective was wonderful. Traveling in a boat then jumping into mini canoes which we traveled in to witness a traditional Vietnamese performance. The ladies and gentlemen performing on their instruments and singing was lovely and a great way to spend the middle of our day. After the performance we traveled further down the river on our boats to our lunch destination. Being served traditional foods and talking to the locals was wonderful!
28/11 Catching yet another flight we moved onto our final destination. Upon arriving we took a quick tour of Saigon, visiting a woodwork shop and the war museum. The museum showed us the results and conditions during the Vietnam War. Effects of agent orange and of how the victims were treated was shocking.

28 November 2016

27/11 Today we toured the local streets by bike. Navigating the traffic was one of the hardest things but the most fun! Finishing our day we were given free time to walk the streets and look at some markets.

26 November 2016

26/11 Today we went to a wonderful cooking class. Stirring and boiling we learnt to make traditional Vietnamese foods. Rice paper which turned into rice paper rolls. Finishing our class off we were able to eat some of our yummy creations.

25 November 2016

25/11 Today we started off visiting the most famous temple in Cambodia. Angkor Wat. This temple was absolutely fabulous! Being able to climb to the highest point in Cambodia was beautiful. Learning which each level of the temple was for and just filling our minds with as much information as we could. As the afternoon drew nearer we had to say goodbye to the worlds best tour guide Nip. Nip showed us the sights of Cambodia and taught us all about his country with great passion. Learning magic tricks in exchange for the young kids lingo and some English lessons we grew nearer and nearer.

24 November 2016

24/11 Finishing our day today we visited the floating village. These people live on the water and visiting their way of life was amazing. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
24/11 This morning our adventure continued with exploring the abandoned temples. Learning which each temple was built for and what it was used for is brilliant! It is shocking how similar the culture of today is compared to the culture 1000 years ago. Saving our best temple till last!

23 November 2016

23/11 After running the city this morning we turned to the traditional temples in Cambodia. Roaming empty halls and looking up at the trees growing out of the walls and roof. The carvings along each wall was telling stories of their times.
23/11 This morning we saw the city in a unique way! The amazing race gave us opportunities and challenges to witness the cultures of this country. Being blessed by a monk and learning the traditional dances were just some of the activities we had to do in order to progress from the challenge. Coming in last we had lots of fun laughing and getting to know our personal Tuk Tuk drivers whom too us all over Siem Reap.

22 November 2016

22/11 Today we traveled from Phenom Penh to Siem Reap. Being in a bus for 7 hours we finally arrived in our second destination. First stop in Siem Reap the lost city. These temples were abandoned by the Cambodian people during the time of Pol Pot. The buildings created over a thousand years ago have withstood most of the damage nature has thrown at them. Walking the halls that are left took you through a period of history you can only read about. Tonight we are off to dinner and a show! Let's see what awaits us next in this adventure.

21 November 2016

21/11 This afternoon we went and toured on of the public schools to see how their classrooms operate. The students from the school are taught skills for employment such as cooking, film making, receptionist and tour guides. Later on we visited the Bloom Café treating ourselves to yummy and beautiful treats.
21/11 To start today we went to a dance school and witnessed some beautiful traditional dances. The school or arts takes students from ages 5-21 and teaches all traditional arts of Cambodia. To follow this we went off to Asia Hope. Being greeted at the gate by hundreds of little children with smiles from ear to ear was amazing. Being shown around their campus and seeing their rooms was lovely. Being shown around by my two new sisters Pian and Hein I learnt about their studies and what family they had. To see what little they had makes everyone appreciate what they have. Despite the odds of having no parents Asia Hope provides them with a home, two "parents" and food.

20 November 2016

20/11 At the end of day two and the second half of the day was educational. After lunch we headed off to the Cambodian Killing fields and was enriched with the horrific history of its location. Learning how the people of Cambodia were treated under the ruling of Pol Pot. He caused a recline in Cambodian population as he tried to influence the country with Communist ways. In his time he caused a lot of devastation and grief. We followed this with a trip to The Genocide Museum. Here we continued our learning of Pol Pot (standing for Political potential) and his cruel ways. This area was based in an old school turned into a jail. We met a genocide survivor and heard of the awful ways in which he was treated. With all this in mind we set out for a happier event. To conclude the day we went on a river cruise along the Mekong River. We traveled there in little took tooks, weaving our way through the chaotic traffic that is Cambodia. During our cruise it rained but everyone had fun!
20/11 Today 2 and the wonders of Cambodia amaze me. Speaking to the locals and buying their goods you start to see that what little they have they value. Started off the day with a quick history lesson of Cambodia, its wars and how is has come to be today. Later on we went to The Royal Palace. Seeing the grounds and the jewels inside was amazing. Diamonds in gold statues and buildings for each event. There was one building that was made in 1917 just for the king at the time to be able to easily get onto an elephant. They call it the Elephant Temple now. Following our visit to the palace we moved onto the Russian Markets to have our first real taste of bartering. Pairing in groups of three we wandered the hundreds of stalls having locals trying as hard as they can to get you to buy their goods. Off to our tour of the Killing Fields and the Genocide Measum this afternoon.
20/11 Day 1 of the trip has finally come to a very late/early close. After experiencing a 5 hr delay we finally landed in Cambodia at 12:50pm (4:50 Sydney). Safe to say everyone has earned some rest after being in airports all day and awake for more than 20 hours. First Hotel: Phanom Penh hotel Kick off tomorrow at 7:30am with some yummy breakfast!

19 November 2016

19/11 Left for Vietnam this morning! One flight into the trip and we learn... your second flight to our first destination had been delayed by 5hrs. Sitting at the airport trying to pass time.

18 November 2016

Final night in Australia before embarking on my new adventure! Excited too see what wonders lay before me.

11 November 2016

Tomorrow marks one week out from leaving! Excited to see what this new chapter has in store. In the process of packing bags. Already bought donations of 6x work booklets, 3x 6 pack of pencils, 3 rubbers, crayons and coloured pencils. Looking forward to sharing images and notes on all that happens leading up and during my visit!