It’s a Thursday the morning after a night on Pub street and I’m feeling up to some more temple exploration in the Angkor Archeological Park. What no one realizes at first by looking at the map is that the whole park is about 400 square km. My first thought was that it would be nice to explore the temples by bicycle but it’s 7.3km just to Angkor Wat temple from the hostel. Then another 7km from Angkor to the next temple, Preah Khan, on my list and today is going to be a hot 36 deg C.
One happening touristy pedestrian street night spot in Siem Reap is Pub Street. Lined with restaurants and bars with beers ranging from 50 cents to $2.50 USD. Everything in Siem Reap is priced in USD. Bright lights, loud music, street vending of anything on a stick, and buckets of alcohol, no really, buckets. Backpackers, young, old, everyone visits this street. How long you can hold up along this street is up to you.
Where and what is Angkor Wat? It is probably the most well known tourist attraction in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A temple built in the 12th century as a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu, then became a Buddhist temple. Remaining in use till the 1800’s it’s no longer an active temple and had undergone much damage since and as recent as the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970’s. The name Angkor Wat translates to Capital City Temple. Besides Angkor Wat there’s so many more temples in the Angkor Wat including one made famous in the 2001 movie Tomb Raider.
Lub D Siem Reap is one of the top 10 hostels accommodations I’ve experienced. It is easily number one for best value for the lowest price at $47.50 for 5 nights. The hostel is in a great location with a short walk to Pub Street. The staff couldn’t be friendlier and the relaxing atmosphere made every guest be just as friendly. There’s a chain of Lub D in Asia and I plan on staying in Lub D in Phuket. Welcome to the new breed of hostel accommodations.
The first thing you notice about Hanoi, the capitol of Vietnam, is how much cooler it is from Ho Chi Minh. Though it’s about 1500km (under a 1000miles) to the north the temperature dropped about 20degF (12degC). Unlike Ho Chi Minh the Hanoi sky was rather cloudy the whole time. Being the Capitol and more political I encountered many restricted areas as I wandered out of the Old Quarter to explore some of the sites.
Ha Long bay in Northern Vietnam with it’s thousands of towering limestone islands and islets was designated a World Heritage Site in 1994. With it’s emerald waters, pinnacles topped with rainforests and sea level eroded bases it’s a sight to behold.
I arrive in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City from Singapore. With Only a few days in this city, I had researched the internet for the perfect hostel to relax and leisurely wander this city. My decision for a hostel was The Common Room Project in District 5. Now all I had to do was get there from the airport.
As we approach Singapore in a Qantas flight I’m watching an eerily space-like image from the plane’s tail cam view. Remembering 10 years ago I visited Singapore briefly and I told myself I need to return someday. Back then, after a Tibet/Nepal Everest trip me and a fellow traveler had a long stopover in Singapore. We met up with my old friend and colleague who lives there to give us a tour. We had a delicious salt and pepper crab dinner and a night out. Such a fascinatingly modern and clean city I’m looking forward to exploring Singapore further.
New Year's Eve 2020 I arrive in Auckland from Sydney Australia. Checking into the Verandahs Backpackers hostel, I had plenty of time to settle and get ready for a party at Fhloston Paradise just across the street from Verandahs. Fhloston Paradise was the name of the vacation-cruise planet from The Fifth Element SciFi movie.
You don’t need to be a Lord of the Rings fan to enjoy this enchanting village of Hobbiton just a 2-hour drive from Auckland. Although this is a movie set it doesn’t appear as such. It’s an idyllic village with fantasy-like landscaping of flowers, vegetation, fruit trees and walking paths. It’s like stepping into another world, the world of Hobbits. You’ll even get to enjoy a complimentary pub drink at the Green Dragon Inn.