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Phnom Penh & Southern Vietnam

From Cities to Beaches!

We only spent a couple of days in Phnom Penh where we visited the horrific site of S-21, a former school in the capital of Cambodia which was turned into a torturous prison during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. I'd been before however a second visit was just as haunting. To think it was less than 40 years ago so many people died at the hands of Pol Pot, and right there too. It's a chilling place.

Lauren and Jeroen also visited the killing fields where hundreds of thousands were brutally executed and were tossed aside. Having done this before as well I gave it a miss, the school was definitely enough to remind you of what the Cambodians have been through. They really are amazing people to come back from this with such warmth and genuine good feeling to visitors. 

Having to sadly separate from Jeroen who was heading to Malaysia, we took a bus across the border into Vietnam and onto Saigon. I was a bit apprehensive about revisiting this city as last time I was there I stayed too long and it drove me a bit crazy! This time however I needn't have worried as I fell in love with the noisy hectic traffic filled in your face place instantly!

Having become two female travellers by ourselves again with no boys around we were a bit naughty and spent a couple of days and nights being total girls. We bypassed the sites and instead sat in cafes, ate chocolate and cake, read, visited the shops (there was a French Connection!!) watched movies in a little cafe cinema, slept late, it was fantastic. It was so nice to have total downtime, I hadn't realised how full on Cambodia had been until we stopped. 

The weather was looking good and having enjoyed our relaxing time so much we thought we'd have a bit more and head to the beach. And what a beach it was!! Mui Ne is about 4 hours out of Saigon and is gorgeous! It was SO exciting to lay on a beach in the sun, swim in the ocean, drink cocktails in the evening, eat fresh seafood. It felt like pure luxury at a fraction of the cost! It was the most relaxed I think we've been in four months so we definitely deserved it. We spent three nights enjoying this luxury and easily could've spent longer, it was definitely a place to get trapped. And being able to have a hot stone massage for £6 was a bonus too - although to be fair I'm pretty certain they weren't actually qualified masseuses with some of the massage techniques that were being used - especially the hitting of the head at the end??

We arrived in Dalat in the central highlands a couple of days ago and have spent our time here continuing the relaxing theme of eating, wandering, sleeping late. I tell you, I could definitely get used to this! There was even a kettle in our room so we bought tea bags and chocolate, amazing! Oh, and a hot shower!!! We went on a tour of the local countryside yesterday on the back of a couple of motorbikes which was fun. It's SO beautiful up here, so green, such a cool fresh climate. I would love to stay longer however we are once again on the move in about half hour - on to Nha Trang for just a little more beach time!!

Posted by kbenfield 21:43 Archived in Vietnam

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