Sarah Applebaum

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Sarah Applebaum

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang July 28th 2010

Wow, I guess it has been almost 2 weeks since we last blogged, but we've done so much it just doesn't seem possible!!! So we were in Siem Reap mid July- maybe until July 15th and then headed back to Phnom Penh via a town called Battambang. Phnom Penh is pretty much a requisite stop en route to anywhere else in the country since all buses pass through there. Battambang is a small town and actually, not a whole lot to do there so we just stayed for one night. Our first night there we went to an acrabatic/theatre performance at a local school for theatre arts. There was also an art exhibit. The kids are so talented, it's incredible. We enjoyed the experience immensely. The next morning we took a ride...not on the reading railroad, ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 21st 2010

Groan! I know....but couldn't resist. We spent 6 nights in Angkor wat/Siem Reap (one extra sick day :(). 3 days spent at the temples. They are quite incredible. What they were able to construct in the 8th-maybe 11th century is amazing. The sheer scale of it all and the fact that it is all still here (mostly). Although it should be noted that in the mid-early 1900s there was a huge restoration project let by the French to put many of the temples back together. Some, such as Ta Phrom, were left almost as they were found - with the jungle taking over! Ta Phrom is also the temple from Tomb Raider and Temple of doom. ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 13th 2010

First off, wish we could post some pictures with this post so you don't have do so much reading, but no spare USB slot on the computer....ancient technology! So a bit of a love/hate relationship with the city. Very busy - essentially no traffic laws (or sidewalks), everyone is selling somethig, and it appears that there is a lot of difficulty reconcilling the difficult past with the present. Also, there are tuk-tuks everywhere here and, even if you walk by 10 in a row and say no, you don't need a tuk-tuk, the 11th guy will always ask: 'Sir, you need tuk-tuk? You go to killing field?' So yeah, a very busy place that revolves around tourism. We spent 2 full days in Phnom Penh. Our first day we went to the Royal Palace in the ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 6th 2010

So we last left off in Laos heading south to 4,000 Islands for some R&R that we didn't know we needed. From Vientiane we took the overnight bus to Pakse. Neither of us had ever taken an overnight bus before and were surprised (pleasantly) that there were bunk beds. Two people per bed - so not really sure what a solo traveller (especially female) does... A little cramped, and the novelty wore off somewhere between the bus station and the first pothole but all in all it wasn't so bad. Pakse is a quiet town with not a whole lot going on. Having arrived in town at the crack of dawn, we had the whole day to be productive. We hired a tuk tuk in the morning to take us 20 minutes out of town to ... read more

Asia » Laos » West June 29th 2010

Sorry it has been so long since our last update ... been busy. From Chiang Mai we took a bus to the Thailand/Laos border (Chiang Kong-Huey Xai) and crossed over and stayed on the Laos side. The next morning we planned (and did) take the slow boat down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang (2 days travel). Despite ample warnings and advise to ONLY buy our ticket for the slow boat AT THE SLOW BOAT STATION we were duped and caught off guard by a travel agent at Laos immigration. Posing as an official he helped us fill out our paper work and get our visas and said if we wanted to take the slow boat tomorrow we should put our names on this list and pay him for the ticket. After asking him again and ... read more
Bar @ the riverside

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai June 17th 2010

What to say about Chiang can do anything and everything here! Including getting your daily/weekly/yearly dose of adrenaline. Our first full day in town (June 16th) we took a taxi up a mountain West of town to see a big, famous wat (temple). Not so spectacular. The drive up was really beautiful and so was the view of Chiang Mai. However, there was repairs/construction at the temple so its beauty was marred by scaffolding and tarps. Later that evening, Andrew totally caved (don't be swayed by tales of draft beer - a rarity - and big screen tvs with world cup soccer) and we went to "Chiang Mai Saloon" for dinner...I kid you not. With out a doubt the worst meal to date (and hopefully of the trip). After dinner, it was time to move ... read more
Banging the gong
We chose stairs over tram to get to the temple

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Sukhothai June 16th 2010

Well, it has been a few days since we last posted an update and we are actually now in Chiang Mai (arrived yesterday afternoon). We took the local bus from Ayatthaya to Sukhothai on Sunday (I think), arriving around dinner time. That left us with a FULL day on Monday to explore the ruins in Sukhothai historical national park. We posted some pictures of the ruins below. We rented bikes for the day to get around as the place was huge and had a nice little tour around. at the first ruin we were accosted by schoolgirls wanting to know our names, ages, where we were from, and if they could take our pictures. The first few times it was cute.... and Andrew felt like a bit of a big shot but it got old really ... read more
US Flag & Che?
How we got to the old city
We rented Bikes to get around!

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Ayutthaya June 12th 2010

Hi all, So, today we woke up early again, had a decent breakfast at a nice spot just down the street from our guest house and then headed off to the train station to catch a ride to Ayuthaya (a former capital of Thailand). We thought there was a train leaving Bangkok every hour, but maybe since it was Saturday there wasn't as many and so we had to wait about an hour and a half. Fortunately for us, during this waiting period we were befriended by an interesting, older Thai fellow. He was interested to hear that we came from Toronto, but more interested in telling us a little bit about the history of Thailand and more significantly, why Bangkok is such a crazy place. "20 million people live in Bangkok. Crazy place. Another 10 ... read more
Giant Budda
Cool gate
Monks' robes out to dry

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok June 11th 2010

Correction: Phone Number incorrect. It should be 011 66 8 60 92 96 06 Today we got up bright and early and went to a floating market about an hour and half from Bangkok. The market is the oldest of its kind in Thailand was apparently built by the Chinese. When we went it was just for tourists - locals come and shop at the market between 5 and 730 am. We were not there that early. The market was really cool - lots of canals and goods for sale. But a huge tourist trap. If you stop for a few minutes you are immediately harassed by someone selling something. In the afternoon we went to another temple called Wat Pho - or temple of the reclining Budda. Really Cool! and HUGE! Lots to see there. ... read more
Canals Built By Chinese
Traditional Thai Boat
Floating Market

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand June 10th 2010

For two tired travellers we sure did a lot today!! After a long long journey from Toronto, we FINALLY made it to Bangkok yesterday evening. We missed our connection in Hong Kong due to delays and so had time to kill in the airport and arrived in Bangkok much later than we were expecting. Our Hotel, Lamphu Guest House, is great. There is a AC! And a Balcony which is nice. We are very near Khao San Road (main backpacker street, lots of noise and parties and shenanigans) but on a much quieter street. This morning we got up practically at the crack of dawn. So we seized the day! Over breakfast we decided that we would not take any tuk-tuks (cross between a motorcycle/ricksaw taxi) in the city because traffic is a bit nuts. That ... read more
Golden Budda
Inside Temple

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