It has been a long while since the three of us (Erik, Mai and I) traveled together. So we decided to take a ten day trip to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Since I have more free time than my other siblings, I get to do our itinerary. Luckily, my siblings are not too picky, I was free to decide where to go and where to stay. Basically, all they have to do is follow my lead. I do often asked them their opinions before I make a final decision. First stop Cambodia, Siam Reap to see the Angkor Wat. Siam Reap is a cute little town. People are quite friendly and accommodating. What I like about Cambodians is that they are nicer to Asians and definitely would not take any crap from the white folks. As compared to us here in the Philippines, Filipinos tend to be more hospitable to the white folks than to their own kind. I can’t say it’s because of years under colonialism. Cambodia was also under France for many years. Anyways, Siam Reap is an easy place to move around. It also reminded me of our small towns here in the Philippines. I like small towns, you feel safe walking around as you do some sightseeing but a disadvantage of a small town is you’ll get to see everything in 3 days. That was when we left for Thailand.
I think I had more fun inside the van traveling to Bangkok than going around the city itself. It was an adventure especially after people have warned us from crossing country by land. I’m here to tell you about crossing borders: It’s totally safe and fun, you get to see and hear stuff you won’t normally experience when you take a plane. The best part of the experience was in Thailand. A crazy guide picked us up at the border and gave us a warning not to go down of the van at any given time. Mind you, he was laughing while he said this. We were sharing the van with people from Europe and the United States. I knew intuitively that the guy was bluffing, but our companions believed it! When we stopped by the gasoline station, I wanted to go down to stretch my legs and I heard one of them say… “Is it safe to go down? The guide said not to go down anytime.” In my opinion, it is always good to practice caution but anything too much will spoil the fun. Now, the city of Bangkok has overpowered me with its colors, crowd, glitters, noise, taxis, etc. It’s crazy! Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Whew! They surrounded my head as I stepped out of the street. It can really be overwhelming! I think the next time I go back to Thailand, I’ll hit the beach instead for serenity.
This is Phranakorn-nornlen , a lovely place to stay. It’s so near all the tourist spot you might want to see: the palace, the temples, Buddha statues, shops, etc. Just click on the picture to drop their site a visit.
Gosh, I was so glad that I decided to place Vietnam as our last place to go. We went to Ho Chi Minh. I love small towns. Ho Chi Minh City is very picturesque. Old French buildings, small roads, people hanging out in the open park, and maybe over a million of bikes, these are what I saw of the town. The roads inside of the town just loops around. In case you get lost, look for where the Notre Dame Cathedral is located and I believe the whole town loops around it. The church being the center of that circle. I’m guessing here, so I can’t be that sure, but that was how I found places when I was there. We also did our shopping there… But, that was a mistake. We should have done our shopping in Siam Reap. It is a lot cheaper to buy in Siam Reap than in Vietnam but I always do my shopping on the last day of my trip. Tsk, tsk, tsk…. And I really should learn how to bargain well. Or at least get a friend from the area to bargain with me. I was not able to meet up with my friend, Patrick until we were about to leave the country. Sigh, that was a wrong move from me again. Otherwise, I’d love to go back and do some more sightseeing. Just be careful of the motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh, they rule the country.