A Travellerspoint blog

Some New Pics for those eagerly awaiting

Various locations, but mostly Ko Phi Phi Islands in Thailand

sunny 105 °F

Hey guys,
I jumped on Kym's account to load some photos. Most are from Thailand, but a few from Vietnam and Cambodia as well.




























Hope you like them. If you have any questions about them, just ask! Miss you all.

Posted by kym.haley 23:32 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (12)

A few pics to share from the last few days

semi-overcast 98 °F

The captions don't show here for some reason, but they work in the photo gallery if you look there.










Posted by jaime.lee 20:03 Archived in Vietnam Tagged bus Comments (6)

Welcome to Vietnam!

Another journey is another adventure is another story to remember

semi-overcast 98 °F

It's a little after five pm and the four of us climb into our 4:30 bus. Valentina and Kym into the back corner, Tobi and I follow. The seats of minibus have been squeezed together to accommodate another row, not a problem for most locals, but at 6'2'', Tobi and I struggle to join the girls in the back. The door slides shut, the car starts, and the music blares. No communication is possible as the best hits of Vietnam ring in our ears. The gas pedal goes to the floor and everyone rocks forward and then is quickly released and we all hit our backs to the seat with a thud. On and off again with the gas and we sway out of the gravel lot. Peeling out around the corner, we hit the two lane road that accommodates two vehicles and at leas 4 more motorcycles wide. The horn starts honking and doesn't let up for 6 hours. Weaving in and out of car, bikes, people with carts, nobody is safe in our path, including the on-coming vehicles. We miss wrecks with only the narrowest of margins. We push moto's to the dirt shoulder and cut off everyone in our path. After five minutes, Kym looks green and she shakes her head, but I couldn't hear her if she wanted to say something due to the noise. Another five minutes and the short old lady in the second row begins eating her fried chicken feet and throwing the bones on the floor. A few minutes later the kid in the first row throws up in a plastic bag. He opens the window and throws away the evidence. The action doesn't stop for two hours until we cross the Mekong River by ferry and the car turns off for a few minutes. Everyone steps outside to smoke, and Kym leans over the edge of the railing to stare at the water. She suppresses the urge and we all climb back into the car. It is everything I can do to focus on the horizon to not loose it myself. At the other side of the ferry we pick up three women, each with two five gallon buckets. The smell of the minibus changes from bad to worse. The kid in the first row throws up again. Kym's face has changed from green to clear white, void of any color. We stop to let someone off and the driver of the bus behind us stops, runs forward up to our driver's window, opens the door and begins to yell. Everyone in the bus is screaming, the two ladies by us look as if they are trying to climb over the seats to get closer to the action and the music is still blaring. The driver tries to pull forward, but the other guy holds on. More yelling and finally the door is closed and we lurch forward. On with the gas, off with the gas. The music is cranked louder and Kym holds on for all she is worth. We try to talk them into stopping on the side of the road to go to the bathroom but the frown, yell, and don't come close to understanding what we are talking about. I cut a water bottle in half for Kym to use as a last resort, and just when she has convinced herself that it is the only option, we pull into the equivelent of a truck stop and we all pile out. While in the bathroom, I can hear the sounds of at least three people throwing up, one of which I know is my girlfriend. Ten minutes later, we are back on the road, music going as loud as ever and the weaving in and out of traffic doesn't let up. I wish I had a seatbelt. Two hours later, we pull into another dirt lot and the engine is cut. I look over at Kym, whose color has improved back to green, and say, "Welcome to Vietnam!"

Posted by jaime.lee 04:44 Archived in Vietnam Tagged bus Comments (11)

A Tale of Two Cities

Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia

sunny 104 °F
View Heading West on kym.haley's travel map.

Hello all! Coming to you on a very balmy night (about a million humid degrees) with no mosquito left hungry. Jaime and I are covered in whelts from their incessant hunger for Westerners! Our travel buddies, Tobi and Valentina, so graciously recommended Tiger Balm as an anecdote which has worked wonders. Nonetheless, my ridiculous whelts - sometimes twice the size of a quarter - continue to be a reason for local Cambodians to point and laugh. At this point, I'm used to it :)

So, since we last touched base (after visiting the temples of Angkor Wat) we had one last night in Siem Reap and spent it going out to dinner with fellow travellers and indulging in FANTASTIC 30 minute foot massages for only $2.50 each! We both found it amazing after days and days of being on our feet. We then took an early morning bus to Phnom Penh, which was quite a bizarre experience. We kept joking that we were the only travellers that we had heard of who hadn't yet made it on a scam bus. Well, we finally made our way on a scam bus! The bus forgot to come pick us up at our hostel, then we had a strange bus change just out of town. We stopped at rouge roadside markets/toilets every 100km so that the drivers could make a commission on our purchases there. We also stopped in front of random people's houses along the way to pile motorcycles and people in the lower compartment of the double decker bus, where it was well over 100 degrees with no air conditioning! Luckily, though, we made it to the capital city in one piece and found our new home until Wednesday, Okay Guesthouse, which truly is just ''ok''. They "arrange" for your transportation and charge extra to make a couple of bucks, make accusations that you haven't paid for things and they even lost 2 of our socks doing the laundry! I just remind myself with a smile - it's all part of the experience :)

Our time in Phnom Penh has been pretty intense. The people here are very poor and constantly trying to get money out of you - the tuk-tuk drivers, children holding newborns, beggars missing limbs, the whole bit. It's quite difficult to see how many of these people live. We had an encounter with a boy probably about 10 years old who was sniffing glue from a bag, eyes bloodshot and he had a hard time walking. It was heartbreaking. There is also an abundance of people that are blind and missing limbs from landmines. Shocking fact: There are still 6 million landmines in rural areas of Cambodia that have not been excavated! (Don't worry Mom) We have been extremely careful to stay on the beaten path and we are nowhere near these areas since staying in the big cities. Yesterday we toured the main prison run by the Khmer Rouge and The Killing Fields where the Cambodian genocide took place in Phnom Penh only 30 years ago! There were still bones and clothes remaining from the mass graves that have been dug up, but there are still many graves have yet to be unearthed. Again, it was truly heartbreaking and shocking that the human race is capable of such gruesome acts - and it was so recent!

On a lighter note, we just had our first real drip coffee from a "westerner type cafe". Typically, southeast Asians serve instant Nescafe which, if used to the wonders of Seattle coffee, is just terrible. I am in a very happy place right now because of it :)

We have one last full day in Phnom Penh before taking a boat south to Ho Chi Minh, Vietman. We scratched our plan to go to Laos for the ecotour we planned to take in the jungle (so spontaneous, huh?) because it is really out of the way. We get to keep travelling with our new friends and save 4 days of travelling in the meantime! Laos has officially been added to our list of places to visit later. As an American, we think it will be a great experience to visit Vietnam. Many of the travellers we met say that Vietnam is not to be missed. Saigon - here we come!

Thinking of you all - Kym

Posted by kym.haley 19:04 Archived in Cambodia Comments (3)

Happy New Year!

A quick stop in Bangkok for the Lunar New Year before heading to Cambodia

semi-overcast 90 °F

We arrived in Bangkok after many hours of flying. We arrived at the airport in Denver about 1pm on the 13th, found ourselves San Francisco about 6pm PST and then boarded a 14.5 hour flight to Hong Kong. We arrived there about 7am (their time) and after a 2hr layover, we made it to Bangkok, Thailand around 10am (their time) on the 15th. We then took a bus towards downtown and wandered around for another hour in the heat with our packs until finally we found our room! Although exhausted we felt we had to try to stay up to adjust to the new time. We walked the streets for a while until more and more people joined us, mostly kids and all wielding supersoakers and cups of watered down clay. We had a great time smearing clay on others faces and they had more fun smearing it on ours. The temps were so warm that it was nice to cool off.


The people are nice and it was fun, but as the momentum grew with thousands more on the streets, we began to look for refuge. There was none. We sat in a bar to get a beer and the people would come in to soak us. All the t.v.'s were covered in plastic and it was apparent that even inside you were fair game!


We travelled from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia on the 16th. A long bus with a hassle of trying to figure out how not to get scammed and get into the country was trying but we kept our patience and made it through. We met a German couple who we are still travelling with and they have been great companions. We made it by taxi after an hour or so of negotiating (surprisingly cheaper than bus due to tourist scams) to Siem Reap, a town near the Temples of Angkor. We saw ruins this morning of the Temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom and many smaller ones beginning before sunrise and finishing after lunch. Another long day in the heat. We have been drinking about 2-3 gallons of water each/day and I still feel very dehydrated. The temples were amazing. It was where they filmed Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones and it is an awesome experience to walk through. Trees grow out of the ruins in some places even! I can't imagine what it looked like before they cleared the jungle away from the ruins and allowed people to be able to walk through it.



We have been trying to upload pictures but the connections are extremely slow and it is difficult to do so. But I have managed a couple. We promise more to come.


Posted by jaime.lee 02:46 Archived in Cambodia Comments (5)

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