After 3 weeks travelling around Laos I have arrived in Siem Riep, Cambodia. Laos was another of the very surprising places that I didnt figure on being so wonderful. The people are very friendly, the sights were quite good, and the scenery is beautiful. I took at least 10 boat rides on the Mekong, from the 2 day slow boat from the Thai border to Luang Probang, to the tubing trips (had to do it twice) down the bar-lined banks with zip-lines into the river in Vang Vienne, to the ferry’s back and forth to the islands in the south, to the long boat rides between some of the islands. The Mekong really is the lifeblood of Laos. So many tiny villiages line the river that are accessible only by boat. The French Colonial towns like LP and Ventienne that still have the French architecture and food leftover from the past 2 centuries. Plus BeerLao, the national drink and the best beer in SE Asia so far. Beautiful, friendly, cheap and HOT best describes my time in Laos.
Now I am at the tourist Mecca of Siem Riep, home to Angkor Wat and the surrounding temple complexes. These are the crown jewels of Cambodia and as such it attracts tourists from everywhere. I’ve seen more Westerners and Japanese/Chinese here than anywhere since Bangkok, and since this is a much smaller city, we are everywhere. Of course that leads to a pricier city, earning Siem Riep the nickname of Siem Ripoff among us travellers. But it is still pretty cheap compared to anywhere in Aus/NZ, so you just pay your money and deal with it. Besides, this is where Angkor Wat is and you wouldnt come here without seeing the amazing temples. Check the photo site for lots of recent pix. That’s all the news for the moment. Penom Pehn will be next up in a few days, then the beach areas down south before heading into VietNam.