Back in the UK safely now and I wanted to upload some photos of Siem Reap to complete my journey. I spent the day cycling around the huge site not quiet believing what I was seeing. The temples are magnificent though the photos don't do them justice. The cycle back to Siem Reap from the temples in the afternoon sun was insanely hot but the thought of an ice cold $0.50 beer waiting for me kept me going! I had a great taste of Asia and thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with the blog and for keeping in touch. I look forward to seeing you all soon.
From Laos I made the rather long bus journey to Siem Reap in Cambodia - the city next to the spectacular temples. I took my first day here pretty easy and visited a couple of smaller - more secluded temples. These were still amazing to roam and were peaceful since I nearly had them to myself.
Tomorrow I am planning to hire a bike and head off early to the larger, more impressive temples like Angkor Wat. I hear they are huge so I am sure I will have a tiring day.
On the 29th I head to Bangkok and then on the 1st March fly back to the UK (no overnight stay in Sri Lanka this time!)
I spent a couple of days in 4000 islands "tubing" (sitting in a truck inner tube and floating down a river) and also did a full day kayaking on the Mekong River. The river is so big that it has dolphins so the trip also involved some dolphin spotting - though they didn't come too close. It i s so so hot here that despite applying sun cream constantly I still manged to catch the sun - which I had managed to avid until now. After about 10am it is also impossible to stand barefoot on sand because your feet melt.
I also bumped into my Polish friends Przemek and Monika who travelled down
Arriving in Luang Prabang was like a breath of fresh air. After three weeks of craziness the town has a really relaxed atmosphere, despite the other tourists. The people here don't seem to want to bother you - unlike everywhere else I have been so far! The town is surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers. Time to relax for a few days!
I took a Tuk Tuk with some people I met to some local waterfalls for a swim. There were rope swings into the water and loads of rock pools to play in. I also bumped into the Polish couple from Sri Lanka here who flew to Hong Kong when I flew to Bangkok!
The weather in Sa Pa was even colder and white! I had arranged for a day hike around local tribal villages which I am told goes through amazing rice paddies. Unfortunately I could not see much of anything! On my second day there were some gaps in the weather and I did manage to sneak a peek. During the hike we were followed by a pack (there is no other word to describe them) of local women who befriended us along the way. When we stopped for lunch they immediately unpacked their baskets which they had been carrying the whole way and were very keen for us to buy bags, pillow cases, jewelry etc
It was nice arriving in Vietnam to find that it is alot cooler here. The traffic in Hanoi is CRAZY with motorbikes everywhere the best way to cross the street it to just keep moving and trust that the hundreds of bikes will avoid you. I took a trip to Halong Bay and after a tour of the area and a look at some pretty impressive caves I stayed the first night on a boat.
I also did some kayaking around the bay. The weather was not the best but it did not spoil the trip at all. Actually it was a nice break from constantly consuming water and applying sun cream! I am back in Hanoi now - tonight