Having just celebrated my birthday this year, I was encouraged to look back on the photos from the surprise birthday trip I received in 2012. An amazing trip to Verona. Three fantastic days in an absolutely incredible (and highly recommended) Italian city.
This trip solidified my already strong belief that Italy is the best European country for weekend breaks. Why? Well, how about a list:
I think most people would probably agree that four days isn’t much for a country like Cambodia. And the truth is, it isn’t. But we managed to achieve quite a lot in such a little time. That said, both of us are itching to return and to venture beyond Angkor Wat and Siem Reap.
Friday 8th June 2012
We arrived in Siem Reap in the evening and hopped straight into a taxi to head to the hotel. Driving along, we were both immediately overcome by a sense of relaxation. Cambodia was absolutely nothing like Vietnam. Hanoi had been so busy, with so many people. Siem Reap was quiet and peaceful (at least in the evening!). In addition, there are so many insects and animals. Throughout our four day stay in Cambodia, we saw numerous geckos, frogs, cockroaches, lizards, and an array of flying insects.
Arriving at our hotel, we had a quick meal before heading off to bed.
Saturday 9th June 2012
At 9am, we headed off to Angkor Thom. We received a blessing from monk and were given little string bracelets. Mine fell off within a few weeks whereas Mal is still wearing his, nearly a year later! We wandered around for about two hours, before heading off to a second temple, Ta Prohm. I was getting a bit sweaty and warm at the point so I was glad to discover that Ta Prohm was so much smaller than Angkor Thom!
Well, for now.
It was, without a doubt, a must-see place for me. It’s somewhere I had researched and researched. I had looked at hundreds of pictures, read hundreds of blogs, I’d even dreamt about the place. So, when I visited, it felt extra special.
Tuesday 5th June 2012
After breakfast in Hanoi, we joined a coach full of others and set off for Halong Bay. Unable to sit next to each other, I spent the journey sleeping and listening to the Regina Spektor album I had just downloaded. Now, every time I listen to that album, I relive the excitement of that journey.
Following a brief stop, we arrived at the port. We were offered a strange looking (and strange tasting tea) and settled down to play cards for about twenty minutes.
Later, on the boat, we were treated to an amazing buffet lunch. Not one for seafood, I accepted that I’d have to be experimental and made a conscious effort to try everything.