Phnom Penh then home again

Phnom Penh then home again

Phnom Penh, the name conjures up something quite exotic, but sadly fails to fill that expectation. It is big, busy, built up but somehow lacks the same buzz that Saigon exuded or the crazy, faded French charm of Hanoi. It maybe it’s recent turbulent history that has...

Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields

Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields

Warning - some of the content in this entry has very graphic content and will upset. While the world’s attention was on the end of Vietnam War, just over the border in Cambodia the Khmer Rouge came to power and embarked on a radical and brutal restructuring of the...

Siem Reap

Siem Reap

Siem Reap meaning 'defeat of Siam', now Thailand, is the gateway to the Angkor region and sits on the edge of Tonle Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia and quite a quirky one at that. It's flow changes direction a couple of times a year. During...

Cambodia – where, why and Wat!

Cambodia – where, why and Wat!

Seim Reap airport looks like a temple, a temple to the iron bird maybe. We were probably the only flight for a while so it was very serene and peaceful, a far cry from the Saigon circus we left behind. A Cambodian visa is required on entry to the country, a long queue...

Puppets, markets and snakebite

Puppets, markets and snakebite

Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, is the largest in Vietnam with over nine million people, half of whom own motorbikes of which 80% seem to on the road at any one point in time. It is more open and feels less polluted than Hanoi with more modern shops and office blocks....

A sobering day

A sobering day

In Saigon we visited the Reunification Palace, built in the 60's for the president, it became a symbol for the triumphant North Vietnamese forces when their tanks broke through the gates in April 1975. This signified the end of the Vietnam War and the building has...

Hoi An

Hoi An

Hoi An sits half way down the Vietnamese coast about an hours flight from Hanoi. It was clear as we were coming into land  that the recent typhoon had flooded fields and taken down trees, but clearing up was underway for life to go on. We stopped at Marble Mountains,...

Hanoi, Halong Bay and having Phoung

Hanoi, Halong Bay and having Phoung

We have been in Hanoi for a few days now and have found it an easy city to be in and explore. We are staying in the Old Quarter which is a mix of tired colonial charm and busy modern day commerce, held together with a friendly, industrious people. Every where you look...

Time, traffic and typhoons

Time, traffic and typhoons

It was close to twenty four hours door to door from Abbey Avenue to our hotel in Hanoi, made more bearable by Singapore Airlines Trekkie section on it's in-flight entertainment system. However, i think it was one of those rare flights where I managed to get some kip,...