Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, April 20, 2009

Today is March 17,2009 at noon.  I am presently in Pakse, Laos.  I have been travelling with my sister since December 25, 2008 to February 26, 2009 at which time my sister returned to Canada and I continued on my own.  We started out by having a stopover in Beijing, China and spent a few days there to see the amazing wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiannamen Square.  We then went on to Saigon Vietnam for a few days spending New Years there and then took a trip along the Mekong Delta enroute to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Then took a bus to Siem Reap to visit the magnificant Ankgor ruins which everyone heading to Asia should add to their "must visit" list.  We then took a horrible boat from Siem Real to Battambang which did not impress us at all as the water level was so low and had boat trouble so the trip took 10 hrs. We must admit though that the scenery was also great.  From Battampbang it was back to Phnom Penh then bus to Kampot and Kep and then bus to Shianookville for a coule of days then back to Phnom Penh for the Mekong Express bus back to Saigon.  We then took a flight for some beach time on Phu Qhoc Island.  We stayed at Kim Hoa Resort. We had a bungalow right on the ocean ($35.00) which was great but anyone staying there beware. No service from the staff!!!! Please do not disturb their card game or cell phone conversation as it could turn nasty!!! They are the only one's in Vietnam who made an issue with a 1$ U.S. which was brand new but had a crease in the middle from a fold!!
Enough said.  We did have a couple of great boat trips with wonderful snorkling and also I think we had the best beach on the island and very quiet.  Back in Saigon, did more sightseeing and then was back on Air Vietnam to Danang where the scams started and continued until the last day in Vietnam.  We visited Hoi An where the food is great and some more relaxing time and then to Hue.  After Hue it was a night sleeper train to Ninh Binh Which nobody visiting Vietnam should miss. It is know to be Hailong Bay on Land.  In fact, I thought the limstone formations and caves . . . were much better than Halong Bay which we also spent two days visiting.  Spent quite a bit of time in Ha Noi which we of course enjoyed.  Then we went to Sapa and Bac Ha market for a few days.  Did a lovely trek in Sapa and visited hilltribes and villages. Definitely another place worth seeing.  That concluded our two month trip together and then on February 26 I was back on Air Vietname to Luang Prabang.  What a breath of fresh air after the cacaphony of Vietnam. 
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