Cambodia (part 1)

And now we are going to discover parts of another country.

We arrived  in Cambodia , in Siem Reap, from HCMC. Our guide was waiting for us  at the airport. He had arranged for us to travel to the city by tuk-tuk. We sat in an open  cabin. Our driver was riding his scooter in front and pull us. It was our first ride in tuk-tuk. We used it almost everyday while we were in Cambodia. On the road, we saw many people riding their bicycle or scooter and a few cars.

We left our suitcases at the hotel, we had lunch and then visited The Khmer Artisans shop. The young people we saw are learning the traditional art. They create beautiful objects.

We went to get our pass for the Angkor Wat temples  at the office.  It is located 5.5 km north of Siem Reap. Many tourists come to Angkor Wat,  a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares. Angkor Wat, means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in Khmer. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag,  and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.

Before it closed for the night, we  had time to see one temple. Kanteay Kdei . It  means a citadel of Chambers. It is a large Buddhist temple.

Over  the next 5 days , we will see 17 temples with our guide.

We had dinner on Pub street , a very animated street. We had a great meal with local food. We had a plan to go back to Angkor Wat very  early the next day. It is often the best as there are less tourists and  the light is better for photography.

On my next post, I will show you more of Angkor Wat. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Vietnam ( part 12)

Our  trip in Vietnam  started on February 9, 2014 . We visited Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Dalat, Phan Thiet and finally we ended our travel in the South in HCMC.

We went to see the Cu Chi tunnels with a guide . I really didn’t know much about the Vietnam war. It was quite amazing to see how people hide and fought. It was a real history lesson on the field. And not an easy one !

Later in the city of Saigon we visited the War Renmants Museum.  Again so much history but very difficult to see. War is not something easy to explore  but it is a sad reality.

Also the  went inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral  built between 1877 and 1883 with material shipped from France.

The  Central Post Office was designed by Gustave Eiffel.

We had time to wander in the city.

We had dinner in a pub where we were  able to watch Team Canada  ( hockey)  playing the final game at the Sochi Winter Olympics.  You got to remember that this trip happened in  2014 ( so 4 years ago) .It was exciting for many travelers to see it. Do you remember than Canada won ? And soon it will be another city for Winter Olympics.  PyeongChang in South Korea.  The games are starting on February 9 which is today  but between Vancouver and PyeongChang there are 17 hours difference in time. I always enjoy  watching the Olympics and of course I hope my country wins many medals.

It was our last night in Vietnam. The next day we were  flying to Cambodia. Will you  follow me ? I will show you  part of this country  with  many amazing shots.

Thanks for reading. And for  your comments also.

Vietnam ( part 11)

On our last  cycling day  in Vietnam, we had an early start. It was pleasant to ride along the coast. We stopped in a small village and tasted fresh jack fruit. Later, we tasted delicious dragon fruit. Very impressive to see how they grow around a concrete post. We got to see the  fruits and the flowers on the plants. And you can see it also here with the photos.  I know when have some  dragon fruits  in our grocery store but with the long trip to arrive to Canada,  I was not impressed with the taste .   To  “eat local food” is always best. Don’t you think so ?

Dragon fruits have mildly sweet flavour which can be compared to a melon. They are great source of Vitamin C.

Around this house, a field of dragon fruit plants.

Here this lady was selling fresh dragon fruits. Delicious !

Later we saw a salt farm.

Have you seen rice like that ? Before it gets to a bag or a box, it looks like this.

We finished our cycling day.  We had  done 450 km in 11  days. We were very happy  and ready for other adventures !! We had lunch before we got in the van for a 4 hours drive to get to Saigon that is now called HCMC ( Ho Chi Ming City).  On our way, we saw plantations of rubber trees.

As we got close to the big city, the traffic got busier and busier.  Look at this man. What do you think he is carrying ?

My next post will be about our visit in HCMC. Thanks again for reading. And thank you also for comments you make on my travel stories.

 

 

 

 

Vietnam ( part 10)

More reading on our trip to Vietnam. Hard to believe it was  almost 4 years ago!

We are now in Phan Thiet , a city by the sea.  We went out for  our cycling ride early as it was very hot and humid. Always time to stop to take a few pics. Pagoda, fishing habour, sand dunes. I really wanted to capture all those memories  and keep enjoying them  after the trip.

Typical fishing boats. Here is a bit of info about it. The thung chai, or “basket boat”, traces its history back to the French colonial era. As the story goes, the French arrived in Vietnam and began levying taxes left, right and center – including a tax on the ownership of boats. Most of the poor Vietnamese fishermen who depended on boats for their livelihood could not afford to pay the taxes, so they invented a new type of boat: the thung chai.

Time to see  what the fishermen brought back from the sea. Here the woman are sorting out the fish.

Some  girls  are working on the sand dunes. For 1$, we could have experienced the sliding but we did not want to be full of sand for the continuation of our bike ride. You can see how they protect themselves from the sun. Long sleeves, long pants, hat and even some gloves.  They have this piece of clothing to protect their nose and mouth. Not sure how we call it  but I ended up buying some just for fun ( and a souvenir).

A beautiful beach. A relaxing afternoon by the pool. Good weather…

I hope you enjoyed all the photographs. More to come in my next post next week. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Vietnam (part 9)

Leaving Dalat  with the van . Busy road with motorcycles transporting anything  they have to. Most people don’t own a car.

On this post  it will be again more photos than text. Take time to look at them and imagine the life over there.  On the first photo you see a gray van. This is one of the two van our group use while traveling between places when we are not cycling.

We passed a  smoky landfill.

After about 2 hours, we started our cycling day.

We had lunch in a small restaurant. In the middle of nowhere.

After that lunch,  it was a ride downhill for 10 km ! I will never forget that ride.  And then another 5 km. It was then very hot : 40C. We shuttled to Phan Thiet  where we would be spending 2 nights.

Facing the sea. Very windy  but charming area !

Are you thinking it would be  fun to explore this country ?  I heard that more people want to go in Vietnam than a few years a go .  More on this area on my   next post ! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

 

 

Vietnam ( part 8)

Hello readers !

More on Dalat  on this post. Today mostly photos.

Greenhouses for flowers.

Hằng Nga guesthouse, popularly known as the “Crazy House”, is an unconventional building designed and constructed by Vietnamese architect Đặng Việt Nga.

Visiting the market.

Another interesting day in Vietnam. The sunset view   from our window .

On my next post, we are returning to the sea. Thanks for reading. and have a great week-end.

 

 

 

 

Vietnam (part 7)

The story continues… but first I must say Happy New Year to all of you!!

Our 7th day of cycling  in Vietnam.   Always something interesting to see. Like this lady walking behind the water buffaloes.

Trying to  read the billboard.

We  also stopped to see this man ( injured by a land mine) making tools with old steel rods.

We  left the sea side. Vietnamese do not say “China Sea”,  they prefer to say :”Eastern Sea”. The lunch was typically Vietnamese with soup, rice, vegetables, tofu, meat and fruits. Always so much food  !

Only 5 people from the tour (including me) and 2 guides did the  23 rolling km of the afternoon ride. It was a challenge for me but at the end, I was  very happy I did.  It showed me I was  in good shape.  I ended only few minutes behind the others. We were getting close to another city : Dalat.  “The little Paris” is the nickname of this city on the mountains. We were going up to the mountains.

It is such a great part of the country to see. So much green, coffee plantations, strawberries and so many  green houses for growing flowers and vegetables.

The climate around Dalat is quite different than other parts of Vietnam. We are now in Central Highlands. Warm days but cool nights.  Our guide told us they have 4 seasons in one day here ! A little bit like Vancouver !!  I will tell more about Dalat on my next post.

Thanks for reading !