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Author: Petra

We have heard many mixed reviews about traveling in Vietnam. A couple good ones and quite a few negative ones. We have heard, that visitors get ripped off and that we should learn prices quickly so we can haggle with people. At other times we've read that people were rude or unpleasant and that the continuos honking on the roads is enough to drive anybody bonkers. We decided, however, to ignore all the negative comment and try our best to have an open mind and plan on building our own opinion about this place.
Once in Kratie, we quickly figured, that we would be cutting it close to make it to Saigon in time for Randy to get his bike cleaned, boxed up, and for him to catch his flight back home after Christmas. Instead, we decide to take one more minivan to the border of Vietnam from where we are going to cycle into Saigon.
It is quite easy to find our way out of Stung Treng and onto the Mekong Discovery Trail: just follow the road along the river until it turns into a dirt road. Staying on the right path to make it all the way to Kratie, 100 and some miles down the river is a whole other story. Just after a few miles on the dirt road, we pedal through a construction zone. For a short stretch,  the wet, clay dirt is dug up and loosely piled up on the road surface, ready to get plowed down again.  
After a short cycle, another helping of dry rice and fried-egg breakfast--complete with eggshell--and a very refreshing hitchhike on the back of a dump-truck, we find ourselves in Stung Treng.
It is still dark outside, when we first notice the chopping sound outside of our door. As the sun finally comes up, we quickly tear down our tents, fold up the bedding and head outside to cook water for coffee.
After about 30 miles of riding on the busy, dusty road leading out of Siem Reap, we turn on a dirt road toward Preah Vihear. Suddenly, all the traffic noise and honking dissipates and we are able to talk to each other again. Besides the occasional scooter, tractor, or cyclist, there is hardly any traffic. Instead, we encounter many smiling people waving at us from their wooden huts. Especially, the children are eager to greet us. We hear so many "hello"s and "bye-byes" from near and from far, that we have a hard time keeping up with all the waves and greetings. 

All of our bellies have been rumbling, churning, or acting up at some point during our journey. So far South East Asia has not been easy on our digestive system. On and off, one or the other of us has been battling with an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Although, we really wanted to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat, we just could not get ourselves to get up that early again. Instead, we decide to take a tuc-tuc back to the temple complex. Since Randy had a late start yesterday, due to a long night out on Pub-street the night before, and only saw Angkor Wat while we discovered all of Angkor Thom and then some, we figured it