Africa, Asia · 13 Days · 69 Moments · June 2017

PMs in Cambodia and Vietnam

12 July 2017

At the Hanoi airport now. In the check in queue. Homeward bound.
We walked past Ho Chi Minh's mauseleom. Got to see the changing of the guard. Nearly wasnt allowed on to the "mall" coz my shoulders weren't covered. Thankfully I had a top in the bus 😁
Visit to oldest university in Vietnam. Started in 1070.

11 July 2017

Visit to what is left of the Hoi An prison. Nicknamed "Hilton Hanoi" by American prisoners of war.
Visit to local cave and beach. Unfortunately, no swimming permitted 😔

10 July 2017

Fishing for squid thst havent been seen in 3 months. Needless to say we were unsuccessful 😃
Yummy food 😊
So beautiful 😁
We went kayaking. The views were incredible and it was an amazing experience!
View from our cabin. The bed was so comfy and the shower was so cool. You look out tje window and it felt like you we showering on the water 😁
Our trip in Halong Bay begins.
Jewellery made from pearls from farm.
We visited a Pearl Farm in Halong Bay. Very interesting process. These pearls are cultured and grown there and then they are retrieved and used to make jewellery.
Our hotel room in Hanoi was unpleasant 😣 Smelly, funny stuff on walls and a broken plug in the bath. I was a little grumpy, but thank goodness it was only to sleep. Arrived late and left early. We are now on our way to a boat in Halong Bay. We are going to spend the day and night on board. Super excited 😁😁

9 July 2017

Our bus ride into Hanoi. Stunning lights on bridge. Very modern sections. There is a lot of development happening in Vietnam at the moment. Lots of foreign investment.
Boat trip back to our hotel.
Visit to Buddhist pagoda. The car was used by a monk who burnt himself to death in protest against the killing of monks by an emporer supported by the French.
Visited a mausoleum for one of the emperors of Vietnam. Huge memorial site. They have quite a few of these here.
An option for breakfast 😂

8 July 2017

Cute shot from the bus. Not too sure what they up to. Counting perhaps?
Stopped for lunch at restaurant in the fishing village at the bottom of the pass.
Drove over a beautiful pass called a walk in the clouds. Very popular tourist stop off point at the top.
There are mountains full of marble in the central part of Vietnam. The art of carving/sculpting marble is passed down from generation to generation. We visited a place where it all happens and then is sold. Really amazing stuff!
Cycled to the beach for a couple of hours. Was fabulous 😁

7 July 2017

We went to the "Old quarter" in the afternoon. Very quaint. Went back at night to hit the market stalls. Its quite a tourist spot so bargaining not so easy 😂 Ended evening with a drink at a little pub next to the river.
Next stop Da Nang and on to Hoi An.
Fish farms on the Mekong 😁
In the morning we were taken back to our boat on a sam pan. Very cool 😁

6 July 2017

We were welcomed with a traditional Vietnamese musical show.
Our Homestay. We got onto a smaller boat (needed to fit into narrow canal) and eere taken to our homestay. We stayed with a local family.
Further down the river we go. There are many canals that form part of the Mekong Delta. Don't wanna get lost there 😂
Short island stop for a cycle tour. Met up with some ladies who make rooves, baskets etc out of dried water hyacinth. Such peaceful happy people 😊
Some sights from our boat.
Lunch on the Mekong. Fresh elephant ear fish. Yip... I actually ate some 😉
Popped rice on the Mekong 😁
Visit to the Mekong Delta. Wow! What an amazing place!
Reunification Palace - place where the war ended. These 2 tanks stormed the place and took it over.

5 July 2017

Saigon traffic - it nevers stops!
We got to see some of the traps that the Viet Cong made and set for the Americans. Ironically, these traps were made using metals from the shrapnel of American bombs that had landed in the Viet Cong territory.
The tunnels were 85cm high at the time. They have made them 1.2m high for tourists. We walked through on our haunches. I was very proud of myself that I went down there 😁
Visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. An elaborate set of tunnels that the Viet Cong used during the Vietnam War with America. These tunnels have 3 different levels and had kitchens and bunkers for all sorts. So clever!

4 July 2017

Next stop was for our first ice cream in Vietnam. Oh how we all giggled at the name. You can just imagine the chirps 😂
Next stop in Saigon was the Notre Dame Cathedral and the first Post Office in Vietnam. All remnants of French Colonialism in Vietnam. Pretoria featured amongst the world clocks. How cool😊 The post office was also our refuge from the monsoon that hit us while we were there. The rain is something else!!
First stop was the War Remnants Museum. It was a mind .... I was very emotionally moved by the experience... The last picture depicts it all.
We have spent the most incredible 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City.

3 July 2017

Dinner at the Market in Siem Reap.
Angkor Wat. Didnt have the same spiritual feel as the temple in the jungle, but a priviledge to view and experience.
We went to Angkor Wat this afternoon. It is one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Built in 12th century. Took 40 years to build. Over half a million volunteers. Used sandstone delivered by elephants and bamboo scaffolding. It is something to behold.
We visited Ta Prohm Temple this morning. It is known as the temple in the jungle. We went via tuktuk which was amazing 😁 This temple is an example of "biological weathering". A very spiritual setting. You felt the place. It is also where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed. Angelina Jolie adopted her son Maddox from this area.

2 July 2017

We went to the Siem Reap Night Market. Ate fried cricket, had fish foot massage and had lots of bargaining practise. Bron had a local beer called Cambodia 😃
We went to a walled town called Angor Wat and visited the Bayon Temple. Quite spectacular considering it was built in the 12th century. Very peaceful.
We are staying in a 5* hotel here. We got upgraded by the tour company. Big geluk 😁
We flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia this morning.
Kids work from a young age

1 July 2017

We went on a cyclo to the buddhist temple Wat Phnom. Each of us had our own driver. Got to experience being in the traffic. Was a lot of fun!
Bron and I went for a walk. We found a local market in a side street. OMG it was interesting and very smelly. Needless to say I am now a temporary vegetarian 😃
National Museum. It bucketed down while we were there. A 10 minute shower which was a welcome reprieve from the heat!
Wat Phnom temple. It was a buddhist offerings day. People come to pray and will give offerings to Buddha in thanks for hearing their prayers. One offering was wads of cash.
Kings garb - gold for Buddhism, blue for royalty, green for environment and orange for (can't remember). King has many wifes and they have to wear the same colour on a day e.g. Monday is red etc
Visit to the Royal Palace. Home to the King of Cambodia. Similar monarchy set up to UK. Prime Minister runs the country here. King's home not accessible, but we were able to see a few of the other buildings in the Royal Palace grounds. We saw the Throne Hall and the Silver Pagoda. National treasures held here. There is a giant Buddha made out of 23kg of gold and encrusted in diamonds. No photographs allowed.
Out to local restaurant for lunch. I decided to be adventurous today and try a local favourite - green mango salad with dried fish and squid. Yes it was as awful as it sounds. Looked good though 😊
Our hotel room and view from our balcony
Bus ride to the hotel. Amazing sights! Traffic something else! 🙈
We have arrived in Cambodia 😁
Arrival at Changi Airport in Singapore. Catching flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

30 June 2017

Our team
Breakfast at the Bidvest Lounge. A little time out from the girls before we fly 😊