Saturday, December 29, 2012


Today we drove about an hour outside of Siem Reap to visit Beng Melea Temple. Our guide took us on a shortcut that brought us close to the village where he grew up and we got to see lots of incredible rural homes, which have thatched roofs and are raised on stilts to avoid flooding and poisonous animals and insects. We also got to see some brightly colored wedding and funeral celebrations, which are indistinguishable unless you can read the sign to tell which is which :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Angkor Area

1. Angkor Wat
2. Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom
3. Ta Prohm Temple Complex

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Siem Reap

We're here in Cambodia! We got in around 5 and went to a dinner that included traditional dance performance. Boy, the people here sure are gorgeous. Even the airport was pretty.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


On our second day in Saigon we toured several museums, saw the Chinatown section of the city, and spent some time in the posh area by our hotel, around the corner from City Hall and the Opera House.

1. Jade Emperor Temple, Chinatown, Quarter 5
2. City Hall, Quarter 1
3. New Year decorations, Quarter 1
4. Colorful homes above street front stores

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ho Chi Minh City

HCMC/Saigon is bright, fast, clean, and full of color! It's also quite hot :) They are preparing for a new year's celebration so the park by our hotel is full of crazy decorations. We got here in late afternoon and strolled around the market before going to dinner.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Chickma Eve!

We spent an incredible day in Tra Que Village in the morning where the industry is organic farming. We saw the farms and learned how to farm in the traditional way using old style tools and seaweed fertilizer. We also learned how to make a pork and shrimp pancake and had a fabulous fresh lunch from fresh picked food and shrimp caught in the river.

At night we went to a "Gala Dinner" at our resort which was a hilarious cultural experience and one of the wierdest Christmas Eve dinners ever. There were some adorable little girls dressed as angels running around yelling "Merry Chickma" at everyone, and a dance party at the end with lots of Australian tourists dancing to Gagnam Style.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hoi An

We are now in Hoi An, still in Central Vietnam but closer to the ocean. To get here from Hue we drove up and through the Hai Van mountain pass and then through Danang. Hoi An is one of only two ancient cities left in the world, and has not been destroyed despite the history of war here in Vietnam. We visited several houses that have been preserved since the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

There are also over 100 tailors in town and I am having several dresses made for me :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hue awesome

We spent a full day in Hue (pronounced "hway").

1. Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue
2. Royal Tomb of 12th Emperor, Khai Dinh, Hue
3. Dragon boat on the Perfume River, Hue

Friday, December 21, 2012


This morning we flew to Hue, which is in central Vietnam near the coast. We walked for a while around the Imperial Citadel where the royal families all lived (pics below). It's much cleaner, quieter, and hotter here in Hue than in either of the northern cities.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hai Phong colors

We had a great day with M's family from Hai Phong today. The day was grey and foggy, but the colors of this country are incredible.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hai Phong, Day 1

Hai Phong is where M's aunt and uncle live with their two year old daughter. It's a small port city where there are fewer tourists around - people are constantly staring at us and saying "Hello" - one group of teenagers rode past on their mopeds and shouted "I love you!" which I'm assuming is a cool English phrase that they know. The pictures below are all from the food market in town.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hanoi, Day 2

1. Temple of Literature
2. Hoa Lo prison ("Hanoi Hilton")
3. Temple of Literature, stele dedicated to the Doctors of Philosophy
4. Temple of Literature, graduates celebrating
5. Tran Quoc Pagoda in Ho Tay (West) Lake - Buddhist temple

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happiness in Hanoi

We've been lucky enough to be invited on two big trips with family this year - in June we went to Barcelona with my family and now we are in Vietnam with M's family for the holidays!!

I'll post a few pics here as we travel (the Blogger app is kind of limiting so all of the pics end up at the end of the post and I can't insert text in between, sorry for the poor formatting).

1. Amazing tropical fruit for breakfast (passion fruit and dragon fruit!).
2. Dress shop in the Old Quarter, Hanoi.
3. The view from my friend V's apt in Hanoi, overlooking West Lake.