Yep, my Mom is here. Her date of arrival was no accident either. She is arriving at the start of the Vietnamese Labor Day. That means that for the better part of a week, there is no work for me. Cue my next plane ticket! What traveling with a parent lacks in craziness and potential for spontaneity, it more than compensates for in economic benefits. And I'm sure it will also be entertaining in its own way. My girlfriend will also be joining us. I'm a family man now! Now that I've completed my obligatory acknowledgement of the cast for the trip, let's move on. I am putting my job search on a brief hiatus and we are going to get everything we can out of these few days. It is unfortunate that we cannot spend more time in each destination but our time is limited so we are going to do the best we can.
Stop 1: Hoi An + Da Nang
Đà Nẵng and Hội An are 2 of Vietnam’s more noteworthy beach towns. Hội An is one of the last places in Vietnam that I really felt any pressing desire to visit so I’m knocking it out now. Conveniently, it is a mere 45(ish) minute cab ride away from Đà Nẵng, which is another big destination in Vietnam. Đà Nẵng is the bigger city and also the airport that we will fly into but we will spend most of our time in Hội An. Hội An is known to be the more interesting place while Đà Nẵng mostly just functions as a beach get-away.
The above are both pictures of Hội An. From what I understand there's not much to do there (but there's still more to do then in Đà Nẵng) so we won't be spending too long. We are on a tight schedule here!
After Hội An we'll head back to the Đà Nẵng airport and fly to...................
Stop 2: Siem Reap, Cambodia
[ ខេត្ត ច្រូត ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា ]
Next on the itinerary is the Southeast Asia backpacker classic, Angkor Wat. I get the impression that temples are pretty much all that there is in Siem Reap so it should be a peaceful few days of picture taking. Here's a few pictures that I stole from Wikipedia to show you what to expect.
From there we will head back to the airport and take the 1 hour flight to...................
Stop 3: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
[ រាជធានី នាំគ្នាសំរុក ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា ]
At one point it was possible that we would be traveling 6 hours down river by speed boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. However, that plan fell through when we discovered that there was apparently a pretty serious risk of the river drying to the point of our boat getting stuck. On the one hand, that would have made a great blog post... but on the other, we are pressed for time.
Phnom Phen (pronounced p'nom pen) is by all accounts just about the sketchiest, dirtiest, most dangerous city that Southeast Asia has to offer. I've been told that there is actually a place here that will allow you to drive and shoot a tank for the low price of 400 USD. I can't personally verify that for you but the point here is that there really are just no rules. I think that I will need to strike out on my own for at least one night and see what I see.
Whatever happens, we will spend a couple of days exploring it and the surrounding area. The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are at the top of the list for things to see whilst we are here. Above are some more pictures that I didn't take.
Then it’s back to Hanoi. And back to the job search.
Good ol' Hanoi. It's always there for me.