Vietnam · 15 Days · 23 Moments · October 2017

Two middle aged birds gap year oopsie 3 weeks

4 November 2017

27/10/2017 part 3 The killing fields are now a quiet place but you can still feel the horror and fear in the air. They have a monument stoupper (which is a burial temple) that you can enter. I went in to express love and sorrow to the souls that lost their lives. It is 17 levels high all full of skulls of the victims. It was over whelming and I struggled to find my way out I was so distraught. It was almost as if you could hear the crying of all the poor souls. I didn’t take many photos of these two places and did none on my phone. After the killing fields we stopped immediately for lunch, not because we were hungry more because we needed a beer!!!! We left the killing fields and headed back to the city, we were supposed to stop at a market but to be honest I just needed time out as the day had been so heart wrenching.
27/10/2017 - part 2 We went to the killing fields that were 15 kilometres outside of Phnom Penh and the site was originally a Chinese cemetery. They would bring truck loads of naked, blindfolded and tied up prisoners to be killed in mass graves. Music would be blared our to cover the cries of those dying. Large holes were dug and the prisoners would be clubbed over the head or have their throats cut with tree branches neither was a quick processes. It is believed that the woman were probably raped pre murder as well. The babies were held by their feet and had their heads smashed against trees before being tossed into graves!!! Once the body was tossed into the grave some checked they were dead to ensure NO ONE escaped these fields. At the height of the killings up to 400 prisoners a day were ‘processed’ at these fields!!! These were just the killing fields by Phnom Penh over 1.7 million people were murdered in just under 3 years by the Khmer Rouge!!
27/10/2107 Today was Toul Sleng Genocide museum otherwise known as S21. Truly heart wrenching place around 20,000 men, women and children passed through this interrogation centre only a few were released and that was purely because of the skills the Khmer Rouge wanted to use. Inmates were subjected to torture until they confessed to whatever they were told too before being murdered. Originally there were murdered at the centre until the numbers became too many that they transferred them to what is know as the killing fields. They had pictures of inmates together with there matching photos after they were killed. None were killed with bullets as it was too expensive. The look in the prisoner eyes was despair, disbelief and sheer confusion. Whole families were rounded up even the young!!!! It’s amazing that even now they still have not convicted the people involved with this and that they continued to serve in the government for a decade after the Khmer Rouge was toppled!

28 October 2017

28/10/2017 - transfer from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap I was glad to be leaving Phnom Penh.... it was so worth going there to learn about the Khmer Rouge but the city itself has a dark feel to it and it didn’t feel safe walking out by yourself and I have travelled to some places that are considered unsafe and have been fine walking about by myself ... We stopped at at Silver carving village and there was a true artisan there who creates the trophies for the Voice!!! Then a stop at the insect market.... I wanted to try but Sophy said no they were not fresh!!! Finally a stop at a 9th century bridge that is still in use before heading off to our hotel for our free time. We were in a perfect location only five minutes walk from Pub Street and $1.50 cocktails... so wonderful to be able to walk out and explore ❤️❤️❤️

27 October 2017

27/10/2017 - pics of the evening
2710/2017 part 4 After timeout Sophy picked us up to go to Wat Phnom, this is a great temple that has statues of Lady Penh who founded the city. She saw a log with four images of the Buddha on it and realised this is where a temple needed to be built and the birth of the city began. We then had a private sunset cruise down the Mekong Delta and I do mean private!!! It was just me jayne and our gorgeous little guide Sophy... beautiful sights... After dinner at a restaurant by the river and truly lovely way to end a traumatic day ❤️❤️❤️

26 October 2017

Last night we recovered from the rigorous day of sight seeing by a dip in the pool and three cocktails each before hitting the only Jazz bar in Phnom Penh. The hotel staff were very concerned about us going out as bag snatching is rife in this city and to be honest it's the only time I have ever felt unsafe in all the countries I have visited. We took a tuk tuk there and the man waited to bring us back as he was also concerned for our safety. The jazz bar was so much fun with Charlie Chaplin films playing in the background which had me transfixed... An extremely late night by our standards so far and we didn't get to bed till after 12!!! 😂😂😂
Today we were picked up by Sophy our guide for the next five days... he is an absolute mine of information... today was completely full on, national museum, Buddhist temples, royal palace, Cambodian cooking class that we had to shop for and a tour of the kingdom brewery.... needless to say we soooo enjoyed the cooking class and the food was amazing.. green papaya salad, yellow Khmer curry and bananas with pineapple... we stuffed ourselves silly. The national museum was dull but interesting at the same time. It's strange that they have merged Buddhist and Hinduism together. The palace was beautiful and although you couldn't take many photos is was a feast for the eyes and the silver pagoda has a solid silver floor and a 23kgs solid gold Buddha statue with masses of diamonds in!!! The Buddhist temple was a calm peaceful oasis in the city and again a merger of two religions... We finished the day in kingdom brewery... hic hic

25 October 2017

We travelled by bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh by bus which was a 7hr very comfortable journey, you could see the differences in the countries as soon as you passed over the border... Cambodia has a lot of very poor people but also has far more space. Phnom Penh has 2.5 million inhabitants compared to 9 million in Saigon and it seems so much quieter. However it feels 1000% more dangerous.... the hotel is lovely and the views are amazing ❤️❤️

24 October 2017

After the Mekong delta trip we decided to have cocktails on the roof bar before heading out for dinner. The views at night are simply stunning... we toasted the city and the people we have come to love... bon vogage Vietnam we have loved being here ❤️❤️
It was off to the Mekong delta today to see how life along the river was. It was heart wrenching to learn of the sheer size of the Mekong delta that was utterly destroyed by the Americans in a war .... napam bombs, agent orange and still yet I found bombs. They reckon it will take them up to 300 years to find them all. We went to markets, visited local homes one of which produces what is known as Mekong whiskey. Needless to say me and jayne mullered it and I ended up buying a bottle of which there is less than half left!!!. We also visited temples, pagodas and paddles down the Mekong. Our guide Loi was outstanding a marvellous mine of information, although I suspect he was an eater of dog! His family came from the North so he referred to the city as Ho Chi Minh city unlike those from the south who refer to it as Saigon. This all goes back to the south wanting to keep independence from the north. Although by being in the south you would never think this is a communist country.

23 October 2017

We went on the back of a bike foodie tour which was AWESOME!!!! The girls xuan and trang who took us on the back of their mopeds were great ... to see Ho Chi Minh city from a different view point was amazeballs, going to restaurants that specialise in only one dish, little street food stalls, weaving down little alleys and weaving in and out of the mad traffic .... what a night!!!
So today we squeezed our butts into one of the VietCong tunnels.... Having a fabulous time - even if Ness has made me wear lesbian sandals 😂😂
What a full on day... first up was cu Chi tunnels, fascinating day.. no idea how they managed to fit down those tunnels and I never realised how loud the guns were. Went down into the tunnels and only did 40 metres that had been widened for tourists... we had to double over and it still was a squeeze!! I went down an original entrance hole but could get back out again and two guides had to hoist me out... I could stop laughing! We found a little restaurant and stuffed ourselves silly for a £5 each 😂😂😂

22 October 2017

Wow wow wow the show at Saigon opera house was AMAZING!!!! It wasn't what you would have expected the music had a real African tribal feel to it and it was very acrobatic and mesmerising... how they did some of the stuff was unreal. The building its self was beautiful and as darkness came the city too on a new beauty of its own. Mmmm next stop food market!!! Omg this was AWESOME!!! Plates of food for a pound, everything freshly made in front of you... we had a rice paper wrap that was cooked on a BBQ, quails eggs with chicken and shrimp, dumplings and freshly made ice cream.... my belly was in heaven ❤️❤️❤️ Early to bed as off to the tunnels tomorrow 😄
Wow after a long tiring journey we have arrived.... good afternoon Vietnam... straight from airport to hotel with all the bikes around us was madness. Bikes with one, two, three, four or five people on.... how they do it I have no idea??? Hotel is lovely and overlooking the park which on a weekend has a food market... so guess where we are going later!!! Time for a quick shower then upstairs to the roof top bar for a beer!!! 😍

21 October 2017

We are on the plane with a delegation to Delhi... its chaos everyone is sitting where they want... 😂😂😂 we have had a shit meal at the airport but the bubbles were lush. Plane seats are lush too.... bouncing with excitement going travelling with my big sis... truly blessed ❤️❤️❤️

20 October 2017

Last day at work.... woop woop I cannot wait for this adventure to begin.... and it's Jayne's first real travelling experience.... love it ❤️❤️❤️