Page 3 of beetboxer Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Cambodia » South » Sihanoukville November 3rd 2010

Named for the most loved and loathed king in Cambodian history, Sihanouk, emptied by the Khmer Rouge and now overrun with a more or less agreeable crowd of tourists and Cambodian entrepreneurs. Sihanoukville is the most important port in modern Cambodia. Before 200 years ago, when the lower Mekong delta belong to Cambodia, trade moved up and down the "mother of all rivers". The region was always hard for the kingdom to maintain control over and as a result of 400 000 migrating Vietnamese the area was permanently lost and remains Vietnam today. Port towns always have a peculiarity to them as a result of the inevitable smuggling and drug trafficking that comes with a port. Hamiltonians experience this phenomenon on a daily basis, often loudly and late at night. When reading about this place one ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh October 29th 2010

Cambodia is already a much more intriguing and inspiring place than vietnam. There is the never ending calls by passing drivers, "tuktuk?" and "motobike?", but otherwise people are much more easy going. Cambodian history is one hell of a boondogle we both have been reading about the place since we were teenagers. The history is one of dominance and the constant struggle to oppose dominance. Trapped between two larger powers, Thailand and Vietnam, there was raraely a period without conflict on borders or political meddling. Both powers had hteir vision for how to change and modernize the Khmer without consideration of their sovereignty. Cambodia finally has its self-determination but it is a shaky calm at best. Conditions here socially much resemble India but there is no caste system. India was the most important foreign influnence in ... read more
Phnom Pehn4
Phnom Pehn1
Phnom Pehn5

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh October 27th 2010

We have arrived in Cambodia and are in the capital. We ended our time in Vietnam on a high note in Saigon (ho Chi Minh City) by taking in as much as we could in 3 days. We visited the war remnants museum, loaded with photojournalism and physical leftovers from the french and american wars. It made no effort to hide the scars and horrors of war with everything from models and pictures of decapitated prisoners to defoliated forests filled with burnt peasants to cases filled with embalmed stillborn fetuses that were a result of exposure to agent orange. We learned a lot about the local history and horrors that don't get communicated by our education system. The next day we took a tour to the infamous tunnels of cuchi where siege after siege were launched ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An October 20th 2010

For those who haven't been following weather in Vietnam, which i assume to be most, its damned wet here. To be honest the only real thing i knew about the monsoon before experiencing it was the running gag from the movie "Forest Gump" when he is in Nam and it starts raining and he describes all the different kinds. (my fav. being "big ol' fat rain") Right now vietnam is flooded is massive areas, thankfully ones we are not in nor need to pass through. We missed the problem by 12 hours. When we were driving south to get to Hue there was a section of highway under 1 meter of water that we had to drive through which filled our luggage compartment with lots of water and thoroughly soaked all my stuff but Jenna's remained ... read more
fish farm
halong 1
halong 2

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi October 15th 2010

We never planned on coming to vietnam originally, nor laos or thailand for that matter. We did plan to go to cambodia but had not really worked out the logistics and decided to figure it out along the way. When we were in the himalayas and met Brian the american who now lives in Bangkok, he sold us on the idea of visiting thailand with piles of anecdotes about great locations and food. It is easy to twist our arms when it comes to travel as we both wish to visit as many countries as possible in general. We didn't feel like flying to cambodia as we had a couple of flights to take before even trying to get home across the pacific and we wish to fly as little as possible. The overland route through ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island October 11th 2010

Got a bit sidetracked the last 2 weeks it seems... We had a remarkably uneventful and kind of downer last 6 days in Lao. There is a massive complex of caves near the Vietnamese border where the revolutionary soon-to-be government of Lao lived during the massive US bombing campaign called Pathet Lao. We tried 2 times to go see them but ran into funny hitches along the way. Lao is the kind of place where the phrase later doesn't nessesarily mean later today and often mean much later than you thought possible. This is fine as long as you realize that you may just not get to do what you thought you could. We were, after 3 1/2 weels in Lao very aware of this but it still hung up our Caving plans. The first day ... read more
brian's new friend
guard lion
Hanoi Hilton Enterance

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang September 27th 2010

After escaping the menace of free whiskey buckets, we boarded a 'VIP' bus amidst a chorus of yuppies complaining that it didn't have AC, or a toilet. I think they looked at the wrong photo when they were buying their tickets, and by India standards at least this bus was cush. It trundled along winding hilly jungly roads until we reach Luang Prabang, a Unesco protected village in Northern Laos. It's full of old french colonial buildings, golden wats, silk shops and saffron robed monks wandering around. It's also chock full of yuppies and we both feel a little bit uncomfortable here. However, wiggled between the upscality there's still friendliness and authenticity. About a week ago, I learned that one can raise silkworms inside your house easily. I've learned quite a bit about it since then, ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng September 24th 2010

It is a complex, long winded and messy process that makes a tiny village into a travel mecca. Sometimes it destroys whatever was nice about the destination and other times it is the best thing to happen to the locals since whatever revolution was last. Vang Vieng is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. At first glance one may look at the crowds of drunk tourists and immediately declare the town a hell hole but here i think the locals really get a kick out of it. As for the town itself, there are 100 guests houses but everything is clustered in with local homes, schools and livestock. For the most part those who live here aren't displaced by their towns' popularity on the tourist trail. Vang Vieng has LOADS of attractions, piles of charm ... read more
land and sky
up to chang cave
door chang

Asia » Laos September 17th 2010

Earlier on i wrote that the only thing i knew about lao was that you get a basket of veggies with every meal; i was wrong and now i sit here humiliated. There is as much meat here as anywhere in the world. In fact Lao is all about the barbecue. Every day sunset thousands of barbecue fire up around no matter where you are. They are just little charcoal ones but on the scale that this country bbqs i believe there is more charred goodness than in canada. The morsels are mostly small tender marinated meat on skewers and quarter chicken on a stick and it is hard to walk anywhere at night without having meat sticks shoved in your face. Some places take it to the next level and cook whole fish drenched in ... read more
Patuxy monument
patuxy ceiling
view from the top 1

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane September 16th 2010

Every time we have asked someone who has traveled asia what their favourite country was, the 2 answers we invariably get are Iran and Laos. Iran is not part of the itinerary.. this time, but as for laos i can understand. Laos is truly unique with 80 percent of the population living in villages and capital, Vientiane having a population of mere 200 000. The villages are dotted evenly across the country and you are usually entering or existing a village if you drive for any distance. Even with that, most of the country seems to be rice paddies. The people smile wider than thais, cook better curry than indians, and you are never far from the national icon, Beerlao. Beerlao is the national lager and damn tasty for a commercial beer. You are often offered ... read more
rice rice rice
every day is burning garbage day
river boat1

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