If you are the type that enjoys the uncommon vacation and exploring areas of the world that most do not, I have some ideas for you in travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia.
How about flying into Bangkok, Thailand and exploring this fascinating Asian city before moving on to Angkor Wat in northern Cambodia followed by a visit to Vietnam.
Fly on to Siem Reap in Cambodia from Bangkok. Here is the mystical temple complex of Angkor. You will have the opportunity to visit the new Angkor National Museum, which showcases the Golden Age of the Khmer Era.
A guide will walk you through the temple complex which is vast and set in the outskirts of jungle. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom are former temples with carved smiling faces and detailed bas-reliefs depicting scenes of everyday life in the 12th century.
There will also be the opportunity to visit Ta Prohm, a haunting, jungle-bound temple. Angkor Thom was hidden from the outside world until the earlier part of the 20th century until French explorers found the area and put together a work force to clear the jungle overgrowth. Later other countries sent people to assist in the work. It is now open to visit for your exploration.
Angkor Wat was constructed between the 9th and 13th century. It is revered as one of the world’s most impressive temple sites.
I have had the pleasure to visit Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom twice in my lifetime and for me it is second only to the antiquities in Egypt.
On the outskirts of Angkor Wat is Angteay Srei temple, a true jewel of Khmer art. Its red sandstone walls, decorated with elaborate carvings, are amazingly preserved.
You will also have the opportunity to see Preah Khan, originally a Buddist monastery, now a temple showcasing elaborate carvings.
You can even set sail on Tonie Sap, the great lake of Angkor Wat. There are communities that live and work on the lake and you can see the population in their daily lives.
Next, I suggest your flying on to Hanoi in Vietnam. Here, you will also need to be part of an organized tour unless you choose to hire a private guide and automobile.
A guide will inform you about Vietnam’s economy, which has come up since the war. I just purchased a pair of shoes and I looked inside to see where they were made — Vietnam!
While there, step inside the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. At One Pillar Pagoda is seen Vietnamese history spanning a thousand years.
In Hanoi, explore the old quarter, revered as a jewel of Hanoi because of its idyllic setting around pristine Hoan Kiem Lake and the nearby labyrinthine streets dedicated to regional merchandise.
One night, book a seat at the famous Vietnam Water Puppet Theatre.
Another morning you can experience a Tai Chi lesson if you wish. Now, on to Danang and a short drive to the city of Hoi An, the 16th and 17th century trading port of Vietnam. How about taking a pedal cab tour of Hoi An to see and photograph the lifestyle of the local people and the Chinese architecture which is unspoiled since the 17th century.
Then you can drive along the coast from Hoi An to the city of Hue. Here is time to see the old Imperial City, including the Citadel and then Thien Mu Pagoda.
Also while in Hoi An, you can take a leisurely cruise up the Perfume River to the cooking school. You will be able to cook Vietnamese style when you get home. The school will show you how you can cook five traditional Vietnamese meals.
Now it’s time to visit the Mekong Delta and the agricultural region so well known during the war. Here, you can board a small boat to explore the small islands and perhaps stop at a fruit stand for a local snack.
How to travel there
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