Vietnam & Cambodia
September 29 – October 3 (Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam and Siem Reap (Angkor), Cambodia)
Vietnam was great! Though I only spent about 2 days there because of the Cambodia trip, I got a lot out of my stay. Perhaps the most influential/interesting/sobering experiences I had there was my trip to the War Remnants Museum. To give you an idea of what I saw, though I’m sure you’ve seen much of the same thing as it happened, the Vietnamese side of the story was obviously a little biased against the American involvement and the photos at the museum were not censored at all. Almost all of the pictures on display were extremely gorey and gave you a sense of what really happened during the war. It was emotionally taxing and mentally shocking that stuff like that would even happen but I am grateful to have seen it. I don’t think I could’ve truly experienced Vietnam without being subject to that.
Cambodia was the highlight of my trip and I doubt it will be matched!! I absolutely loved it! The temple complexes at Angkor were huge and in fairly good condition, allowing for climbing and crawling around through the massive stone structures. It is nestled in the middle of the Cambodian jungle and is not yet as “touristy” as most other temples that I’ve visited thus far. Along the road we took to get there we drove by killing fields and over the craters left by stray land mines that were never recovered after the war. There are no words for what I felt because of that. It was more real to me than anything else. It is perhaps too early after my time there to fully comprehend all that happened and all I have seen. All I’ll say is that I am so fortunate to have the chance to experience all I did and I loved every minute of it – despite the 90+ degree temperatures and the humidity that completely drenched my clothes and body for 3 days straight. But hey, it’s all part of the experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
We will be in Malaysia the day after tomorrow and the crew is on the look out for pirates during the nights. What a thought, huh?!? I can’t believe sometimes that I’ve been to 5 countries so far. I’m having the best time and I’m so humbled by the fact that I can even be here and by all that I’ve learned. I can’t wait to see what’s next!