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May 4th 2007
Published: May 4th 2007
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Hoi AnHoi AnHoi An

This is in Vietnam now, getting a drink at a cafe in Hoi An, on the central coast of Vietnam. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures between where we entered Vietnam and here, crossing the phenomenally beautiful central highlands. We started to get a lot more lazy about taking pictures toward the end.
Yes, as the location thingy says, oliver and I are back in the states. We've actually been back for two weeks. I have already seen many of you reading this, but I wanted to close the blog with one final entry. Since it has been an embarassingly long time since we've had an entry, it would take forever to talk about it all, so I'm just going to download a bunch of pictures of our last month, with somewhat extensive captions to explain them. I'm doing this from my home computer, so all of the pictures are mine (sorry oliver).

In brief, though, in Cambodia we went north to Anlong Veng, the old stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and hired motorbike drivers to take us to Prasat Preah Vihear, a seldom visited temple a few hours away. Then we returned south to Siem Reap, and cycled around the ancient temple complex of Angkor, which is THE thing to do in Cambodia, and often the only thing tourists do before leaving the country. We then bused to Phnom Penh and hired motorcycles for six days to explore southern Cambodia before going to Vietnam.

In Vietnam we lazed our way
Going to Prasat Preah VihearGoing to Prasat Preah VihearGoing to Prasat Preah Vihear

As mentioned in our last blog, oliver and I went with our friend Helen to a small town called Anlong Veng and hired motorbike drivers for a day to see the rarely visited ancient Angkor temple Prasat Preah Vihear. The road was coated with red dust, and soon we were too.
up the coast, got clothes tailored for us in Hoi An (Oliver's silk lined suit cost $70, very cheap!), and ended in Hanoi. And ate lots of Pho (noodle soup) and drank thick Vietnamese coffee.

I hope you guys all enjoyed the blog, as infrequent and occasionally unpictured as they were. Thanks for leaving comments, sending e-mails, and sending love.

-Dorien (and Oliver, in abstentia)


Additional photos below
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Going to Prasat Preah VihearGoing to Prasat Preah Vihear
Going to Prasat Preah Vihear

this is us on the way there, we were far dirtier on the way back.
Prasat Preah VihearPrasat Preah Vihear
Prasat Preah Vihear

After a number of numbing hours on the back of a bike, over dirt roads that would make any Alaskan feel at home, we arrive!
Proud...Proud...
Proud...

A little nod to the Thai government, who bulldozed a road to the temple from the Thai border, conveniently expropriating all the Cambodian territory along the way.
Helen looking over the cliffHelen looking over the cliff
Helen looking over the cliff

The temple butts up to a high cliff, so you can see forever. even if most of what you see is flat, dry, and deforested in large patches.
Oliver and Driver on MotorbikeOliver and Driver on Motorbike
Oliver and Driver on Motorbike

This is Oliver and his driver. i'm on a motorbike taking this picture, thus the i-almost-missed-him composition
Angkor Wat - the temple itselfAngkor Wat - the temple itself
Angkor Wat - the temple itself

Angkor Wat is the largest temple in the temple complex of Angkor, which dates back almost 1000 years. Unlike many of the surrounding temples which were taken over by the jungle at some point, it has been kept in some state of repair and used as a temple for centuries into the present. I want to say that it is the largest or one of the largest religious buildings in the world. or something impressive like that. this picture, sadly, does it not the slightlest bit of justice.
Angkor Wat - a temple towerAngkor Wat - a temple tower
Angkor Wat - a temple tower

you can walk all the way up into some of the towers and look out far in all directions.
Angkor Wat - tree and doorwayAngkor Wat - tree and doorway
Angkor Wat - tree and doorway

Though many of the trees have been cleared away to preserve the temples themselves, some have been left, usually some of the coolest parts of the temples.
Angkor Wat - elderly womanAngkor Wat - elderly woman
Angkor Wat - elderly woman

The temples are still considered highly sacred to the locals, and used as religious sites. Elderly women (possibly nuns, possibly just women trying to make a buck) set up little temples among the ruins and give blessings in exchange for 'donations'.
Angkor Wat - relief carvingsAngkor Wat - relief carvings
Angkor Wat - relief carvings

almost every wall is covered in relief carvings like these. Some are incredibly intricate, with up to four layers of depth carved into the wall (like having two people layered behind a wagon wheel).
Angkor-a gatewayAngkor-a gateway
Angkor-a gateway

this same giant head is found throughout the temples, apparently supposed to be a god but eerily similar to face of the king who commisisoned them.
Angkor-the Bayon TempleAngkor-the Bayon Temple
Angkor-the Bayon Temple

More of the faces, I believe one facing each of the ancient kindgom's provinces. Big brother sans technology.
Motorbiking! (me)Motorbiking! (me)
Motorbiking! (me)

This is me and Gretchin (also known as Gretch). Oliver, Helen, Paula and Derek (the couple we traveled with in Laos) rented three motorbikes and traveled through southern Cambodia for six days. The guys we rented from didn't seem worried that I had never driven one. Officially the coolest I have ever been.


21st May 2007

I felt bad no one has left you a comment !! HAHA
Well it looks like you two had a great trip. But we are so glad your home now. We are looking forward to spending more time with you guys. Love ya

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