Disclaimer: It is not often that I start a post with a disclaimer, but I feel like this one deserves it. My original intent was to have this be a review post for a poor guest house experience I had at the Bun Kao Guest House in Cambodia. It was so full of false advertising through booking engine Hostelworld that I complained to the site directly, and just noticed that the advertising on the site has changed entirely reflective of my complaints. All is well for future travelers.
My stay at the Bun Kao Guest House in Siem Reap, Cambodia started off quite fantastic. Wonderful reviews on Hostelworld had it as one of the best rated dorms I have ever booked and the price of about $3.50 per night could not be beat (Bun Kao listing is located here). But as the days went by, my patience wore thinner and thinner with the staff that ended only wondering how the review got so high in the first place.
The temples of Angkor Wat
are one of the most impressive sites in South East Asia and covers more ground than you would anticipate from the photos that are distributed around the internet. The complex is so large that it is almost a necessity to hire a tuk tuk driver to go around and see it all. In many other countries, hiring a personal guide for a day would be budget busting, but in Cambodia it is very affordable and quite common to hire a guide for several days in a row.The tuk tuk is a basic form of transportation, typically a cart attached to the back of a motorbike, or specially designed as a 3 wheeled motorized unit. Sometimes loud, sometimes smelly from exhaust, you never really know what you are going to get. One of the benefits from this open aired mode of transportation, however, is the ability to get amazing photos while riding by such beautiful scenery in Siem Reap and surrounding area.
It would be easy for me to do a photo essay of Angkor Wat to go along with the other posts I have made in the past, but this photo essay is dedicated entirely to the views I had from my tuk tuk. That is, all photos featured were taken as I was sitting in the back of a moving vehicle around the Angkor Complex. This photo essay is a testament to the power of an SLR camera’s capabilities during motion and having it at the ready for when the unexpected moment strikes!
South East Asia has proven itself time and time again to be one of the top regions of the world for all things cuisine. The reason for this is partly due to the freshness of the food, which typically goes from the ground to plate within half a day.Freshness like this cannot be replicated easily in many Western countries, and a little bit of taste is lost in the process. This trend does not just apply to meats and vegetables, but fruit as well.
Entering Vietnam was a welcomed relief from the constant rush of people in China. The moment I crossed over the border it felt as if a little bit of pressure was removed, and the South East Asia attitude began.
If there is one thing I can say that is truly astonishing about this changeover, it would definitely be the food. Vietnam (or as I have been referring to it: Vietnomnomnom) has quite possibly the tastiest food of any country I have been to, ever; and I found myself feasting like a mad man.
Due to some last minute travel plan changes resulting from bad weather in parts of Vietnam, I skipped some cities in Cambodia to get to the islands in Thailand quicker, and only hit Siem Reap along the way. I had to break my no-fly rule twice because of this, but it worked out well in the end. So for this post, I’ve included my four days in Cambodia as well for lack of time spent in the country to warrant its own post.
My observations about Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia, like all places, have both positives and negatives. If you ever want to spend time in either country, the following things might be important to you.
“Trying my best serious face. How does it look?”