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Month: December 2009

Capsizing On the Mekong, Luang Prabang, Dec 21-28, 2009

For those Laos purists who are scoffing at us for barely having left Luang Prabang, let us reassure you we did venture out into the stunning countryside for day trips. This included day treks, river cruising, kayaking and a disappointing elephant ‘trek’. Tours in Asia rarely live up to their billing. Customer safety and satisfaction […]

Monk Watch 2009, Luang Prabang, Laos Dec 21-28, 2009

For backpacking adventure types, Laos is the holy grail. Within that you have Luang Prabang, the UNESCO-ed historic capital of Laos, Land of A Million Elephants (now down to 2000 in the wild). It all sounds remote, exotic and largely removed from western trappings. But to say Luang Prabang represents Laos is like saying New […]

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Dec 15-21, 2009

We expect Siem Reap to be a bigger dump than Phnom Penh. Again Cambodia surpises us. It’s buffed clean and built up with western money, largley because of the magnetic pull of Angkor Wat. It’s compact and navigatable, loads of amenities (eg 2hr oil massage with mini facial for $16–sheer heaven) and is so easy […]

A Man For All Countries–Phnom Penh, Dec 12-15, 2009

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Dec 12-15, 2009 First impressions of Phnom Penh aren’t great. We arrive at night, our hotel pick up isn’t there, the tuk tuk drivers swarm us like piranhas, putrid smelling garbage and litter dominate the streets like no other Asian city we’ve seen, and one of the hardest things to deal […]

Doing the Delta….the Mekong Delta and Saigon Dec 3-12, 2009

The Mekong Delta (incl Saigon and Phu Quoc Island) We land in Saigon having been pre-warned it’s chaotic in a way that makes Hanoi look like a German nunnery. Fortunately with expectations as low as they were, we rather liked it. Yes the streets are especially thick with traffic, but they are emblematic of Vietnam—chaotic, […]

Hoi An—-Made to Measure (Nov 28-Dec 2, 2009)

(Views from our hotel, Phu An River) The most powerful website in the travel industry must be We, and many others don’t make a booking without researching and this is likely our first line of defense. Hoteliers beg us to review them positively. And the Midas kiss in the most holy of books, is […]