Posted by: madaboutpog | March 31, 2020

Adventures in the East

When I was deciding on where to go, I must say that the East was not always in my Top 10 places to visit.  This being said, everyone that had been to Thailand or Vietnam had raved about these destinations.  These countries also proved to be good value for money for us South African travellers.

Usually I book my trips at least 6 months in advance, however, this one was booked extremely last minute. I decided to join a tour which started in Ho Chi Minh City and ended in Bangkok. This meant that I could relax and enjoy the journey without having to worry how I was going to get from A to B.

Arriving in Ho Chi Minh City was a complete culture shock!  What stands out for me was arriving at the airport and feeling like I had walked into a paparazzi party!  I had never seen so many name boards with different peoples names on them. It was literally a sea of unfamiliar faces with hundreds of boards made of everything from sturdy cardboard to flimsy paper! Needlesss to say that my pre-booked transfer was no where to  be found!

The first thing I did when I eventually arrived at the hotel was go to a spa which was walking distance from the hotel for a full body massage.  This was truly incredible and I would highly recommend this as a way to relax.

The first day of the tour did not get off to a wonderful start for me.  I had forgotten to change my clock to the local time and as a result I was still on South African time!  Much to my surprise the ringing phone woke me up.  It was the tour leader asking where I was!  I explained in a very confused state that I was sleeping.  She said that the whole bus was waiting for me!  I literally threw on some clothes and dashed downstairs to join my tourmates.  They were not impressed at all and the atmosphere was a little awkward for a while!

We did a tour of the Mekong River which was incredible.  The amount of motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh city was completely mindblowing!  I am not really sure how they find their own bikes as they all look exactly the same.

The next day saw us do the long bus trip from Vietnam into Cambodia.  Our first stop was Phnom Penh, the capital city.  The people were so friendly and welcoming.  The scenery was gorgeous and we drove through some very rustic areas.

Next stop was Siam Reap which I was hugely looking forward to.  Angkor Wat awaited! The heat and humidity took some getting used to but the country amazed me.  The people had so little and yet they were so happy.  There were definetly a few lessons to learn from them.

One of the highlights for me was seeing the floating village.  People had built their houses on stilts in the river to protect themselves from the floods in the rainy season.

Angkor Wat was everything I expected and more.  The architecture was truly inspiring and phenomenal.  There was so much to see and only a limited time in which to see it.  It was so magical to see this site as the sun was rising.

The quadbiking excursion through the farms outside Siam Reap was amazing.  I got to see people in their own environment as well as water buffalo which I loved.

The trip from Siam Reap to Bangkok was also long and the border crossing saw us queing for over an hour!  I loved Bangkok.  Our hotel was close to the train station and amazing street food.  Every time I needed to  cool down I would head into a Starbucks as the airconditioning was divine! I can honestly say that I have never seen such huge shopping malls. I walked and walked as there was so much to see and for me the best way to explore is always on foot.

I was in Bangkok for Christmas and decided to do something different. I visited the Husky cafe outside of Bangkok and spent the most amazing couple of hours there.  It is not open all the time and they have designated times around lunch time and then again in the afternoon when you can visit.  You get to interact with these amazing animals and spend time playing with them.  A memorable experience for me!


Responses

  1. Great post 😁


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