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Published: February 21st 2014
Hello again, I left you off last time as we had just arrived in Ho Chi Minh City. Since then we've spent a few days in HCMC, bussed to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, spent a few days there, boated to Siem Reap to see the temples of Angkor, and then bussed to Bangkok.
HCMC: was really cool and we did some pretty awesome things. Vietnam is seriously cheap so things like the zoo cost 60 cents... But on the plus side the western world hasn't intervened here so you can get 6 feet from a rhino. We also went and visited the tunnels that the Viet Cong had used during the Vietnam war. These were pretty interesting and even though the tunnels had been enlarged for tourists it was tight. Let's just say I'm not the same size as a little Vietnamese guy. Also in HCMC we took a food tour. But instead of walking or taking a car to stops we were riding on the back of a motorcycle! It was an amazing experience to be right in the middle of the crazy rush hour traffic. As well as the "normal meats" we ate goat udder, pig ear, frog,
ostrich, and Amy even eat part of a duck fetus from the egg. I was all game for it until I saw the foot and beak...
Phnom Penh: getting to Cambodia was interesting. The land borders here have 2 checkpoints. One to exit the country you're leaving and then another to enter the country you're joining. Leaving Vietnam was interesting to say the least - you submit your passport and then you stand in a mob as someone shouts out names as they flip through stacks of passports. Once we did actually get to Phnom Penh I found out that the hotel I booked was pretty much red light district central. All the bars around are so called "hostess bars". We went to the killing fields which was beyond emotional. There was an audio tour which was so amazingly done and had stories from actual people involved. It was a tear jerker for sure, and seeing the thousands of skulls and bones slowly coming out of the eroding earth didn't make it easier. We had heard that Cambodia is the place to shoot big artillery and other weapons. So we had planned on throwing some hand grenades and shooting
some automatic weapons. It turns out they want you to spend a lot of money and then take you out into the mountains to do things like the hand grenade (or bazooka) so we ended up shooting a fully auto machine gun. It was just crazy! They have a huge market in Phnom Penh where you can pretty much buy absolutely anything. Among the souvenirs we ate crickets and tarantula... Because hey why not right? When else am I going to get a chance to eat a spider.
Siem Reap: This is the city which doesn't have much to offer except for the temples in and around Angkor Wat. We took a speedboat here instead of a bus on some more terrible roads. Oddly enough we met one of our classmates and his girlfriend while we were here too! Seeing Angkor Wat was something I had been I stressed in since I saw it in a National Geographic magazine when I was younger and it did not disappoint! We were super lucky and had a somewhat overcast day so it wasn't so hot either. Which was especially nice as we were doing the whole thing by bike and rode
30something kilometers. The place we stayed at here had a pool, so for the first time we could cool off with a dip before going out on the evenings. Last night after dinner we took a stroll in the town, I tried the foot exfoliation bath which is just a big tank of fish that supposedly eat stuff off your feet. For $3 you got a free beer and got to experience the weirdest feeling ever. Still hooked on trying weird street food we bought a BBQ snake on a stick. This was actually good but it was really full of bones. The evening was complete when I got to catch the second half of the Bayern vs Arsenal Champions league match being projected on a big screen on the streetside!
We just rolled into Bangkok for a couple days before flying south to Phuket for scuba diving, elephant trekking, and relaxing on the beach.
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