Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Goodbye Vietnam


Some people said they couldn't find Robyn's post and since it's such a special even, I decided to repost it at the top of the pile.  I've also added some pictures of Cambodia at the bottom.  We've done a lot of posting in the last couple of days so scroll down and see them all!



My first thoughts when crossing the border from Laos to Vietnam were 'Why did we leave Laos? and why did we leave Laos for this?' For a long time after that, nothing I saw could change my opinion of Vietnam. To sum it up, it was smelly, dirty and polluted, the people were mean, and the weather was bad. If I were to give out a couple lessons for those planning on traveling to north vietnam, they would be:

1. Nobody likes you. It's probably better that you know this going in.

2. Everybody is after your money, all of it. This could be through crime, or overcharging. It is expected in North Vietnam that tourists pay 4-10 times as much as locals for transportation (this stat from our guide book)

3. Ho Chi Minh is god. If you would like to see his dead body, go early, there is a big line up. this was the north, but to give Vietnam some credit, the more south we got, the nicer the people were, the sun came out, and the food even became edible. Jevin heard someone describe North and South Vietnam as the North being like the States and the south being like Canada, they're alot alike, but one is waaay nicer.

We spent most of Feb in Vietnam, and when we made it to our last destination, Saigon, I was sad to see Vietnam go.

I was afriad to cross into Cambodia. I had heard that touring through Cambodia, people cry everyday, the poverty is intense and there are landmines everywhere. Maybe thats why I was sad to see Vietnam go...they may be assholes, but there's no landmines!

Our bus taking us to Phnom Penh (our first stop in Cambodia) was the most comforatible yet. An easy 6 our trip later, and we find our self and the most helpful and friendly guesthouse yet. I was waiting for Cambodia to get scary...thinking just around the corner would be something that would make me cry. But after a full day of touring around the next day, with a super nice tuk tuk driver, I decided that I love Cambodia!

I know its early to say, but I think we have a winner!!

Reasons why I love Cambodia:

1. a very big #1, the people. The people are amazing. they're like the people in Laos, but with way more awesome. The english is really good here too, so it's easy to talk to the local people and feel a bit more connected.

2. The food. So far, everything has been awesome. It's so hard to get used to, because in Vietnam you had to mentally prepare yourself before eating.

3. The history and culture. If you have time, research the last 40 years or so in Cambodia. These people have been dragged through hell and back over and over again, but somehow are still the most amazing people around. The tragedies here are recent, so the people you talk to share stories of genocide and war, but in the next breath smile and talk about how proud they are of their big strong son and daughter who is going to university. Beyond the tragic history here, Cambodia also holds the oldest most amazing temples around, including Ankor wat. Google some pictures. amazing

4. The tourists. I've noticed that people get stuck here. They come, maybe for a short work exchange, or to see Ankor wat, and they never leave. They set up hospitals, charities, and guest houses. They all love this country as much as the locals.

There's more..but thats enough for now.

Story time!

Today we were totally exhausted from touring temples in plus 10000 heat, with humidity of 1000%, so we stoped for lunch. We were on our bikes when a lady chased me down to go to her restaurant. She promised to give us discounted food and free fruit. deal! As we were sitting in her ourdoor resaurant, with flee ridden dogs by my feet, and a monkey eating a bag of peanuts over my head, a little girl, 10 yrs old, pulled up a chair. She was selling post cards. 10 for $2 (a little steep I thought). People are always trying to sell you things, so you get used to just saying 'no,no,no,no', which is what we did. They she says 'where you from?'. Cute... 'Canada' we all say, in our little kid voices. 'what province?' she asks, we tell her, laughing. For anyone who has travelled (even to the states), when someone asks you where your from, you stop at Canada, no one knows what or where Saskatchewan is. We have not met one adult who has heard of Saskatchewan in two months of travelling. 'ok' she says, 'If I can tell you the population of Canada, your prime ministers name, the capitol of Canada, and the capitol of Saskatchewan..then you buy my post cards' Alright...I thought...its on! I dont even know the answers to all those questions. So, with two bucks on the table, I told her to give it a shot. And sure enough, this ten year old Cambodian girl, working at her mothers restuarant, says with confidence 'The population of Canada is 34 million, your prime minister is Steven Harper, the Capitol of Canada is Ottowa and the capitol of Saskatchewan is Regina.'

Bam! Smartest girl alive! and now, I am the proud owner of 10 new post cards. Who wants one?

When Jevin asked her if she will ever go to Canada, she said 'Maybe, but I don't have enough money yet'

hahaha, see?? awesome. I love this place.

Sitting on the top of a 1000 year old temple watching the sun set and listening to Cambodian children sing, I realized that I have found my reason for travelling. This is why I left on this adventure. I might just have to come back!

Love love love,


Robyn's sharing some of her pumpkin seeds with the local children
We are Tomb Raiders!
Tomb Raiding is hard work and nothing is as refreshing as a giant coconut!
Jevin and myself messing up the view of Angkor Wat's bas relief walls

Robyn's new favorite treat, sugarcane!!!

1 comment:

  1. ROBYN! I love you a miss you! Send ME a post card :) I leave on tour all by my bitty self soon and will stop in Saskatoon for a week or so. Wish you guys were back by then :( Miss you like crazy! xoxoxo