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  1. #1
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    Default Cambodia and Vietnam

    According to this months Lonely Planet Traveller magazine Cambodia's the place to visit.

    A4.jpg

    I would love to visit Cambodia and Vietnam. Actually, the number of times I have been to Thailand i'm ashamed to say i haven't been to either or indeed lots of the famous Thai holiday resorts, Samui, Hua Hin, Phi Phi, Koh Chang etc.

    I have been to Kanchanaburi which was really enjoyable but i could do with going again and spending a bit more time there.

    So, i invite your personal recommendations/experiences for Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Thai resorts.

    Thankyou.

  2. #2
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ prikphet's Avatar
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    For me I'd skip both and explore Indonesia if you want some Adventure and avoid the crowds.

    Apart from Anchor Wat which is truly impressive I find very little to make me want to return to Cambodia (however I end up going every other year as I have a good friend who's married a Khmer girl). I find its a very dirty place and it seems there's very little desire to change - the roads nowadays in PP are a nightmare. It seems to be shredding its wildwest image, ironically probably helped by the backpacking brigade. Some good foreign restaurants to be had though in PP (Cambodian food I found is bland and not worth seeking out).

    I've only been to Vietnam once for a months trips - I fell in love with Hanoi and the north (Sapa is worth a visit, I found it to be much like the Chiang Mai vibe eg. small city with plenty going on if you care to look for it....I regret not spending more time in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) as my Visa was nearly up by the time I reached there - hopefully will get back one day soon. If you like your beer its very cheap here especially the beer hoi places on the street which are like micro brewery's. The food seemed pleasant enough but I didn't really befriend any locals closely enough to sample the local proper food rather than the standard Asian fayre. Don't expect any burning hot spicy dishes or at least I didn't find any...Out of Cambodia and Vietnam - I'd choose Vietnam everytime - the Museums and history are interesting, one thing if you go to Chu Chi tunnels and your at all claustrophobic don't go down - it was a truly horrific experience for me (and I'm not easily scared)...

  3. #3
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prikphet View Post
    go to Chu Chi tunnels and your at all claustrophobic don't go down - it was a truly horrific experience for me (and I'm not easily scared)...
    Agree with that. About 5 minutes after the first picture was taken I was surprised to find myself getting a bit panicky.
    DSCN0472.jpg
    DSCN0473.jpg
    DSCN0475.jpg

    Wolfy, would definitely have a trip there in December if you were up for it. Would really like to go back.
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    Those tunnels have been specially enlarged for tourists too. You wouldn't have got through the entrance to a proper one.

    - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by prikphet View Post
    I find its a very dirty place and it seems there's very little desire to change - the roads nowadays in PP are a nightmare.
    I visited PP last summer for the first time in nearly 20 years and was really impressed in how nicely it has developed as a city. Would have like to have spent much more time there. Don't understand the comments about the roads really, especially in comparison to, for example, Bangkok and Pattaya. Also found it much less oppressive than those two as well, the riverside area and the wide French boulevards especially, as well as the lack of high rise buildings, and the lack of cars and larger vehicles. That will inevitably change so I think this may be a good time to visit. The Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum are essential visits.

    Agree about Cambodian cuisine but the range of good quality, very good value restaurants of most other nationalities made up for it. Have big regrets that I've still never been to Siem Reap/Angkhor Wat but reasonably confident that I will get there, and back to PP.

    Had 2 fantastic Vietnam trips, but the last was 18 years ago so my comments would probably be fairly redundant.
    Gordie T Geordie

  5. #5
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTG View Post
    Those tunnels have been specially enlarged for tourists too. You wouldn't have got through the entrance to a proper one.
    Too true Gordie. There are a few sections that have been widened for westerners and we had chance to see one of the original tunnels, it was small. This is an example of one of the hidden entrances
    DSCN0461.jpg
    and this is NOT me trying to get in it. A Korean chap if I remember correctly.
    DSCN0460.jpg
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    All very interesting responses so far. The tunnels ? Well, good job I'm on a diet. Actually i'm not sure i could handle them. Going deep down inside the Pyramids at Giza was bad enough.Would love to visit both countries, The Killing Fields and the museum really appeal too, not forgetting the Crusty baguettes and I like the sound of the micro breweries !!

    Thanks for your input chaps.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

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    Old Hand มือเก่า galahad's Avatar
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    If your going to Cambodia Angkor Wat is a must.
    To this day never seen anything like it...truly a wonder of the world...could have spent days there..its like a city of temples!
    You,ll never want to set foot in another temple though after a visit...I was properly templed out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfy View Post
    The tunnels ? Well, good job I'm on a diet. Actually i'm not sure i could handle them
    Me too Wolfy I went down the Poldark Mine in Cornwall many years ago which did me in as far as going underground, so when wifey (Dao) and I were in Chiang Dao (spooky) and she wanted to go in some cave system with Buddha carvings and statues etc, I made it to the first level down but that was it and had to exit rapidly for a Cigarette

    colin 244

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    I went there years ago,and you could see then it was going to get busier.wait till 2015 when the asean thing starts

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    Quote Originally Posted by galahad View Post
    If your going to Cambodia Angkor Wat is a must.
    Absolutely.

    And the best British style Indian curry house is in the city centre. Not forgetting Black Panther beer.

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    This is sounding more tempting by the post.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

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    A trip to Cambodia would not be complete for me without an excursion down to Kep.
    It's a sleepy little town on the coast, about four hours by bus from PP.
    There is a good range of accommodation there, and if you are into seafood,Particularly crab this is the place to be.
    Crab fishing is the main industry here and people drive from PP daily to buy crabs for the restaurants/hotels in the city.
    There is a row of crab shack restaurants next to the crab market where you can go in the evening to make your choice from hundreds of different ways to cook crab. (and other seafood)
    The best of these restaurants is called The KIMLEY the owners daughter also owns The KIMLEY LODGE a really nice place to stay, only five minutes walk away.

    A great day out from Kep is to take a boat across to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit island) the trip takes about 30 mins and delivers you to the most beautiful palm fringed beach. Grab yourself a beach bed or hammock (free of charge) and chill. Just behind you, you will find about 5/6 family run crab shacks who again cook the most fabulous fresh seafood
    you can imagine. Beer and reasonably priced wine are of course also available. for me it is a truly magical place, not a beach vendor in sight!
    If you are a party animal don't visit Kep, it is VERY quiet, with no bars/disco's ect, just your hotel and the crab shack's. Heaven!!

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    Sounds great, apart from the Crab. Sad to say i'm not a fishy person * which i know is a bit ridiculous in South East Asia.

    * some may disagree

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfy View Post
    ... i invite your personal recommendations/experiences for Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Thai resorts.
    I'll add my vote to Vietnam in general (I'm another Cu Chi tunnels vet). I loved the atmosphere in Vietnam, from the first time I visited Saigon. It was fresh, like Thailand must have been many years ago when it wasn't overcrowded with tourists. The food was good, the restaurants were great, people were smiling and not jaded. The women were more beautiful than Thai women and curious and there weren't any fatties!

    Halong Bay in the north is great too.

    Cambodia is good for Angkor Wat and Toul Sleng and shooting AK47s, M16s and bazookas (do they still allow that? I did that a long time ago).

    Last time I visited Phnom Penh, I found the number of NGOs in huge jeeps and silly shops like cookie 'boutiques' replacing the 'happy pizza' outlets annoying. As someone said, Cambodian food isn't much cop and there's a slight air of menace in the air sometimes.

    In general, I can't believe how Thailand is so overrun with tourists while so few venture to Vietnam and Angkor Wat.

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ prikphet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livingwithathaigirl View Post
    In general, I can't believe how Thailand is so overrun with tourists while so few venture to Vietnam and Angkor Wat.
    Mystery to me too.... is a VISA needed if visiting Vietnam from UK ? I do remember it was a right old drama at the border crossing from Laos into Vietnam...

  16. #16
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prikphet View Post
    is a VISA needed if visiting Vietnam from UK ?
    British passport holders need a visa to enter Vietnam.
    When I went from LOS the travel shop where we organised our trip had to send our passports off to get the visa before we could take the trip.

    You can get a visa on arrival but unlike LOS you must have applied for it before you travel.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfy View Post
    Sounds great, apart from the Crab. Sad to say i'm not a fishy person * which i know is a bit ridiculous in South East Asia.

    * some may disagree
    No disagreement here, I do really like the taste of crab, lobster etc, but when I do eat it I know that there is a three in five chance that the bathroom will be my best friend ever, so I avoid seafood, but not fish.

    Yes, I know fish is seafood, but who decided to call some things fish?

    Shellfish, not fish really.

    Starfish, definitely not fish.

    Who did this? if it lives underwater it has fish at the end of the name, unless it has a head like a horse, in which case you put a sea at the front and try to make lasagne from it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaddeus View Post
    when I do eat it I know that there is a three in five chance that the bathroom will be my best friend ever, so I avoid seafood, but not fish.
    5/5 for the bog here Thad

    colin 244

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    I actually liked PP. The history and culture is enough in itself to pay a visit. I liked walking around at my own pace and taking in the sights and sounds it has to offer. AW speaks for itself really, wonderful place. We also got talked into visiting this place called "The jars of dam", which is a field full of broken jars if my memory serves me correct. Not that it should as it was the most unmemorable place I've ever been to.

    I loved the north of Vietnam especially Hanoi. The women are, as previously mentioned, the most beautiful I've ever seen and I'm not talking in the sense of bars and pubs, just every corner you turn there seems to be a head turner.

    If you're thinking of other destinations I'd highly recommend Borneo. Mountains, Orangutans, the lot. If you like nature and untouched culture this is the place to go. We even had cream tea and scones on the lawn shortly before playing a game of croquet...marvelous.

  20. #20
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    In general, I can't believe how Thailand is so overrun with tourists while so few venture to Vietnam and Angkor Wat.
    If any more visitors go to Angkor, the place will gridlock! It is not when your 'in' its getting in is the problem. Resembles many many football matches.

    LWTG is correct, outwith the tourest areas there is a menace in the air. A real one. Actually, Vietnam is the same.

    Yes, the gun ranges are still big business. Escpecially for the Yanks who pay $200 for a cow to blow up with a bazooka (or whatever it is). Disgusting!

    NGO's the pain of my life. PP is overrun by them. Most are simply useless, over educated p£icks who are on a jolly.
    Very easy to do business there. We have a company and there is far less bureaucracy than Thailand but the corruption is bigger and even more widespread.
    PP is safe during daylight hours but stick to the tourist places at night is my advice.
    The nightlife isnt as in your face as Thailand but is there if you seek it out.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

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