We left Phnom Penh early the next morning aboard a bus bound for Siem Reap. It was one of the nicest and cleanest buses we’ve ever been on. Wireless was included (although it didn’t work), along with movies, air conditioning, and even seat belts. It only cost $10 for the six-hour journey, but the trade-off was frequent and unnecessary stops at restaurants and shops owned by the bus company, which extended the trip by an extra hour and a half. Still, it was a comfortable and safe trip, minus the moment we fishtailed to a stop in order to avoid a stray cow wandering on the highway. Continue reading
From peaceful Laos we moved on to frenetic Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. We needed a break from the tourist trail, so we spent our first night chilling at Flicks, a hipster movie theater tucked into a converted house near the Mekong River. There were a few rows of chairs, but Mandy and I preferred sprawling out on a mattress in the front. Drinks and coconut milk curries were hustled up from the bar & restaurant below as Django Unchanged (amazing movie) played on the big screen. Every five minutes, the words “thank you for your consideration” flashed across the screen, which, Mandy informed me, meant we were watching a bootlegged copy of the version provided to Oscar judges. Oh well, it wouldn’t be Southeast Asia without a little movie piracy, right? Continue reading
Home sweet home! We’ve been back a little over a week and have already returned to work, even as visions of Southeast Asia, Nepal, China, and Japan still swirl in our heads.
It’s good to be home, although the unpacking, paperwork, car and home repairs, etc., have taken up most of our time. Once we’re settled back in, we’ll continue to blog about the last few months of our around-the-world adventure. Although it is time-intensive, writing about our travels has been a great way to process our thoughts, document our experiences, and keep our pictures organized. We’ll be back!
Next up: Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Although it’s the largest city in Laos, the population is only 750,000 and the pace is relaxed and unhurried.
Our first stop was Pha That Luang, the national symbol of Laos. An impressive Buddhist stupa emblazoned with gold leaf, Pha That Luang was initially constructed in 300 AD and contains sacred relics, including the breastbone of Buddha. At the entrance, Mandy borrowed a long skirt to cover her legs. Inside, we slowly explored the complex, staying out of the way of worshippers processing around the inner courtyard. Continue reading
The SE Asian heat hits hard. It was the beginning of a stretch of weeks where every day reached at least ninety degrees fahrenheit, but it felt even hotter. The steaminess factor, aka humidity, and the intense near-equatorial sun, can be brutal. Continue reading