Miranda Atkins's Scrapbooks

Indochina Peninsula Wanderer

Cambodia

18
Apr

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Cambodia

“Cambodia is one of the best countries I have ever visited!”

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Siem Reap

The final part of our tour and the bit I had been looking forward to the most... and it didn't disappoint!

When we arrived at our hotel we took the opportunity for a few hours R&R by the swimming pool before a group meal together and visit to the famous 'Bar Street'. What an incredible place! Bars, restaurants and nightclubs all down the street and a huge street party until late at night. We all danced in the street together and with people from all different nationalities - such a surreal and fun experience!

The next day we headed to the famous UNESCO Angkor site to visit the religious temples and remains of the Khmer Empire. These were absolutely breathtaking, just as I had imagined from pictures I had previously seen. Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, was the highlight of the trip. Words cannot describe the beauty of these religious sites - you will have to visit them for yourself!

On our final day we went to visit the Cambodian War museum before...

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16
Apr

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Phnom Penh

And so we arrived in Cambodia! We went to our first hotel in Phnom Penh to meet our new Group which consists of 14 people and a mixture between boys and girls. Those of us who had already arrived decided to go on a walk around the city. I couldn't believe how unbelievable all the buildings and monuments - the architecture is so intricate with such beautiful detail. Truly impressive and like nothing else I had seen before.

That evening we spent at a great local restaurant and then moved onto a sky bar for some cocktails, and to get to know each other better. Such a fun evening!

The next day we went on a tour around the city on tuk tuks, stopping off at the major monuments including the Royal Palace which we spent a while looking around. Like the day before I couldn't believe how beautiful all the buildings were! This city is so magnificent and I would definitely recommend visiting here.

In the afternoon we went to visit the killing fields and the prison where people were held...

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15
Apr

Cambodia

“Goodbye Vietnam, hello Cambodia!”

14
Apr

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Ho Chi Minh City

The final stop in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City. Another very manic city like Hanoi but with a Western influence. This city is full of history and culture and we spent the day going around the main sites including the Cathedral, the Post Office, the Reunification Palace and the War Museum. The War Museum was particularly interesting but extremely harrowing to see the destruction and tragedies of the war. Around 3 million Vietnamese people were killed in the war and many more killed or affected generations on from the effects of Agent Orange. So awful.

We spent our final evening watching a Vietnamese performance which was similar to a tame version of Cirque de Soleil. After this we went for dinner in the night markets before getting an early night before our 6am start.

Bye Vietnam and on to Cambodia!

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13
Apr

Cambodia

“Feeling relaxed after our visit to the hot springs!”

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Hot springs!

The hot springs were amazing! Mud baths, mineral baths, waterfall areas and a hot bath swimming pool. Feeling relaxed before our overnight train!

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“Off to the Hot Springs!”

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Hoi An and Nha Trang - my favourite places in Vietnam!

After Hue we took a bus down to Hoi An where we were staying for two nights. Hoi An was unlike where we had been so far in Vietnam in that it was a bit more Westernised and there were a lot of tourists there. The city was so exciting with bright lights, bustling markets, bars and tons of shops. We started with a walking tour of the town before heading back to the tailors to get some new clothes. It's amazing how quickly they can tailor make clothes here!

The next morning we went on a cycle ride through the countryside which was incredible! We saw water buffaloes, ducklings, lotuses, herb gardens and several other flowers, animals and plantation.

The rest of Hoi An we spent on the beach (which we walked to - 6km!), walking through the town and shopping, eating and checking out the nightlife. I also managed to fit in some pampering time before the dreaded night train to Nha Trang!

Despite the fears of the night train I actually arrived in Nha Trang feeling refreshed and...

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8
Apr

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A day in Hue

Next stop on the tour was Hue where we spent the day going on a City Tour seeing all the main sites including the Royal Tombs, the Citadel, the monastery (where we had a delicious banquet lunch!) and a dragon boat trip to end the day. Tiring in the 35 degree heat but so good to see everything!

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7
Apr

Hanoi and Halong Bay

Made it safely to Hanoi after 14 hours flying with an airplane company I hadn't heard of and a stopover in Moscow, and spent the afternoon wandering around the Hoan Kiem Lake near our hotel. Such a picturesque place especially given it is in the middle of such a manic city that I feel super lucky every time I successfully manage to cross a road without being run over! I was sitting by the lake and Vietnamese students kept coming up to me to talk and practise their English. They were so friendly and cute!

Went back to the hotel and met my tour group which consists of 10 girls and 1 guy (poor him!). Everyone is so nice on the tour which is great. They are mostly from Australia and I am sharing a room with an Australian 27 year old teacher called Sam. Turns out this tour company is Australian.. Go figure.

We all headed out for a Vietnamese feast and then to some of the local bars. One thing led to another and next thing we know we are on a 4 hour bus trip to Halong Bay in the...

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Off to the Hot Springs!

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