Suzie and Steven's adventure to Cambodia and Vietnam: Part 2

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An August 7th 2012

A week spent in Hoi An and one day trip to Cham Island. Visiting old friends, eating our way through the town, and a bit of shopping. A great way to end our month of travel.... read more
Getting threaded-3$
Water Spinach Field, Hoi An
Beach in Hoi An

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang July 26th 2012

We left Saigon on our open bus ticket and headed to Mui Ne. After a very long bus ride, on a sleeper bus, I need to explain what exactly that means to us. A sleeper bus is designed with basically a lounge chair-but as Americans, take our average lounge chair, cut it in half lengthwise, then cut off bottom third of it. I fit fine (but I sat backwards in it with my feet in the air); Steven, however, looked like he was in Baby Bear's chair. We pulled up to Mui Ne, found the road that led to our guesthouse, and started the trek up. Halfway there the rain poured-out of nowhere, well, not nowhere, the typhoon in Hong Kong started it. Anyway, Steven ducked under a corrugated tin roof-and what do you know! It ... read more
Sleeping Bus
Ferry Crossing

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot July 22nd 2012

It only takes (tongue in cheek) nine hours to get from Kampot, Cambodia to Saigon, Vietnam using the Ha Tien Border crossing. We decided to do it and it was only eighteen USD each. That would save us a trip and another hotel fee in Phnom Penh so we paid the tickets and our ticket agent said a mini bus would pick us up at 9:00 from our guesthouse. 9:10. 9:15. 9:30. Steven rode down on a bike to the agency-problem with the mini bus. She said go back and wait. A car pulls up-the owner of agency. We get in, pick up an Aussie couple in the same situation as we are in, and off we go. The guy was flying-so we thought he must be either trying to make up time, or he is ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot July 21st 2012

Spent the last two days relaxing in Kampot-we leave tomorrow by bus to Saigon. We didn't do too much-that is the great thing about this sleepy little town. We stopped at The Rusty Keyhole for a great lunch and beers to catch up with the owners, who now have two sweet little girls. Real pints and real french fries-what more could we want?! Had some great conversations with an Australian couple, and a Canadian living in India-one of the best part of travel is the conversations with others. Staying at Mea Culpa Guesthouse, and having real, yes real pizza out of a wood fire oven. We rented a motorbike and Steven has been driving me around to shop, find internet cafes, and some photo opportunities-one of the prison. When we post the picture it is easy ... read more
View from Mea Culpa Guesthouse
Sweet Girl
Kampot Prison

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 18th 2012

It has been hard to find a) internet service and b) keyboards not missing vowels so finally here is the latest since hitting Cambodia. We paid the change fee and left Burma, flew to Bangkok to regroup and eat healthy food. We found Thong Ta Resort and Spa just a few minutes from the airport and enjoyed local street food and relaxed. Oh, and now we are exclusive members-never thought I would be the type to have a "club" membership-hahaha. Flew into Phnom Penh, our usual place didn't have an available room so we ended up at a negative four star hotel for fifteen dollars. The young man was trying so hard the choice to stay there made it a little easier-but not much. The room was hot, air-con barely worked, the room smelled like a ... read more
Crazy Trees
River Carvings-400 Years Before Angkor Wat!
River Carvings

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon July 11th 2012

We arrived at the airport waiting in line to go through immigration. The building is stunning -polished white floors with glass walls. The strangest thing was it was silent-everyone standing in line, even the immigration officials processing the passports-no sound whatsover. We gathered by the sign "Motherland Inn 2 Suzie Johns-1" and met Rob and Bob-and englishman and american who live in Bankok over in Burma for a ten day holiday. We had three more americans join us and out we went-past the new mini vans, past the new taxis, and into a 1950's rusted bus-we barely fit on one seat. No air-con, open windows, and through Yangon we went. The traffic, although organized, was really bad. All of the cars were burning oil so the air was absolutely stifling. I had my scarf over my ... read more
Our ride
Construction Truck
Reclining Buddha

Asia » Cambodia » North » Battambang June 22nd 2011

Battambang was new for us. After a short bus ride from Siem Reap, well, short is a relative term, we arrived in the very small town of Battambang, the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge. We were ambushed by the local tuk-tuk drivers-they surrounded us and were pulling on my backpack which wasn't on all the way and I began to fall. I yelled at them, then they immediately stopped-and of course went right back to trying to get our business. Usually I can get people to stop hassling me if I start talking price and make it ridiculous-but these guys were willing to take us for free. Finally, we picked a guy and off we went. As we drove the 300 feet to the hotel, we realized that the bus stop was the busiest place ... read more
Bamboo Train
Another view of the Bamboo Train
The Rice Bowl of Cambodia-Battambang

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap June 18th 2011

Back in Siem Reap, land of the tuk-tuk drivers, fish massage, regular massage, "special"massage, restaurants all recommended by lonely plant/roug gide/and any other guide they have heard about, stray dogs that are so lazy you have to step over them, big brown eyed beautiful little kids that stare, and the best food in the world-Khmer curry and fish amok. Since we are getting toward the end of our trip we are taking it easy. Our days are consisting of breakfast at the Soup Dragon-I have cafe sa da, coffee with sweet milk on ice, and Steven has his bun cha with a coffee as well. Finish up with a mango shake and good to go. Picking up a few things in the markets (Macy's should really look into hiring Khmer women-excellent sales pitches and will go ... read more
Fish Massage
Selling clams

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat June 17th 2011

Dalat was really great! Planned on staying two days ended up staying four. We found our hangout, literally a bar called The Hangout Cafe run by a Duong, his wife, and twenty month old Rocky -who really runs the place. If you go look out if Rocky has his squirt bottle-he is quite a good aim. He is also a pool shark. As we were sitting in our place on at the front of the cafe a little girl about eight came over and stared at us for awhile. I gave her some spider rings and we were soon fast friends. She ended up kicking Steven out of his seat next to me and took his place. She held my hand but never talked. Duong told me she was autistic-of course she is, I am the ... read more
Suzie and Quinh An
Rocky the pool shark
The Hangout Cafe

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat June 12th 2011

Departed Saigon yesterday at 1:00 in the back of the bus. We took Phuong Teang bus service because they had the best price, neck pillows, and taxi service when you arrive to take you wherever you want to go. The neck pillows are crucial because we were on the bus for nine hours-was supposed to be seven. Steven began chatting with a university student finishing up her junior year of college and was heading home to see her family for the summer. She is getting her degree as an auditor and already has an intership waiting for her next year. Adorable young lady, she gave us information about the countryside the entire ride. She really wanted to practice her english and I wanted to practice my vietnamese-good combination. She bought fruit at one of the rest ... read more

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