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Destinations Abroad

South East Asia 2012

Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam & stopovers in London, Bombay & Shanghai.
Generally about the trip – travel story

The trip lasted roughly three weeks in February and involved the crossing of three borders (each taking from 45 - 90 minutes to cross). I started by taking a morning flight to London with Icelandair together with my travel mate Helgi, and the following evening we continued with the Indian airline Jet airways. They made a 2,5 hour stopover in Bombay-India, before continuing to Bangkok, where we arrived at 19 o’clock the following day, due to a 7 hour time difference from Europe.

We spent 3 days in Bangkok - THAILAND before leaving with a bus to the Island Ko Chang, which was a 6 hour ride towards south-east. There I spent 6 nights, then leaving both the island and my travel mate and spending 12 hours in a bus to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

After three days in Siem Reap - CAMBODIA the course was set for the capital Phnom Penh in a semi organised tour towards Vietnam. After one night in the capital I left the following day to take a 5 hour boat tour to Vietnam.

The first night in VIETNAM was spent in a small town of Chau Doc before leaving the following day to Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City, where I spent the last 2 nights. From there I flew in the evening with the Star Alliance Lufthansa (which I don‘t give so many stars for their service ?) to Bangkok from where I took my return flight towards Europe at 2 o’clock in the morning. The return flight was with Air China and via Shanghai, where I took a little breath of cold air before continuing to London. The landing was late in the afternoon and trip continued at 21 o’clock in the evening with the rather high cost - but still low service - airline Icelandair. The return trip consisted therefore of 4 "leggir" and total travel time from leaving the hotel in Saigon until landing in Iceland was 37,5 hours!

As regards the weather – which is usually of special interest to European readers – it was generally very good. The temperature ranged from approximately 24-33° Celsius during the day, dropping to 20-30° Celsius during the night.

The people in all of those countries are generally polite, nice and smiley. They are often quite poor, and their salaries can go down to less than 100$ pr. month! Thailand is better off and wealthier than Cambodia and Vietnam not least because unlike them this country has not been a battleground for decades. People you meet on the street have often little education, even only finished 4-5 grades, but it is common that they leave school at around 14 years old. Many manage only to finish high school as the universities are not free(!), unlike to what we are used to in Europe.

The accommodation I used was mostly guesthouses and hotels, and the price range from 8$ a night in a guesthouse to 75$ for a double room in a hotel.

After my arrival I have been asked a few times some questions similar to whether the journey was safe? As for me, I have nothing to say other than that the people were generally honest and trustworthy, regardless to how poor they are. They often warned me to be careful, to watch my wallet, close my bag better etc. I would generally rate them as more honest than the average European from a similar social environment.
My whole travel story about each country in particular and picture gallery will follow shortly --- sorry for the delay .....

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