I would describe Cambodia as an experience, not necessarily a vacation. It was rich with culture, and incredibly eye opening, but I don’t think you’ll find me heading back anytime soon. It felt as though they are stuck in the past, with women not allowed to show their legs or shoulders, forbidding dating, a lack of innovation re: waste removal–trash is everywhere–and the scams are a huge turnoff. The food was pretty good, nothing to rave about, but that might have been because Siem Reap is rather touristy. We did find the meal of the trip the last night, however. The Soul Kitchen is an amazing restaurant off the main strip of Pub Street that has local live music, authentic cuisine, and yummy cocktails. I may have knocked over a pina colada once or twice… and only took the time to take a quick picture of the delicious pot stickers, the main course was too good to document before eating.
All in all, we’re so happy we experienced Siem Reap, and saw the crazy history embedded in the temples, but spent one night in Phnom Penh and left in the morning for Vietnam.
Even at the airport, the man helping check us in tried to snag $300 from each of us. He claimed that Vietnam is going to need a $300 security deposit showing that we have enough money to leave the country (we didn’t have a plane booked yet leaving Vietnam)… But, how does paying Cambodia help that situation? Nope, not this time, buddy.
We still frantically booked a flight from Hanoi, Vietnam to Luang Prabang, Laos, in case immigration would check in Vietnam. They did not even hint at asking about our departure from their country.
Customs was easy once we landed. We snagged a Grab–Uber for Southeast Asia, who recently took over all of Uber’s Southeast Asia assets and are taking over the shop–and made our way to our Airbnb. They are the most insane drivers I’ve ever experienced here. A major four-way highway intersection doesn’t have lights… You just go with the flow and trust no one is going to ram you.
Our Airbnb is absolutely amazing. We’re a bit outside of the action of the city, in a high rise on the 19th floor staring at the rest of the city, and the nicest park you’ve ever seen. Side note on the park, we got kicked out today reading on the lawn. Apparently, you can’t read on blankets on the grass… It’s still pretty, regardless.
We haven’t done much here, mostly walked around and checked out the surrounding area. We have a couple tours planned for the rest of the trip, a boat tour to see the Cu Chi Tunnels, and a dinner cruise to view the city at night.
We have an incredibly exciting itinerary–if you can call tours and bus dates typed in notes on our phones an itinerary–coming up for the remainder of Vietnam.
Stoked! Stay tuned for more. :- )