Nicola Hutchins, a Flight Centre consultant in Adelaide's Waymouth Street store recently took an Intrepid Tour through Cambodia and Vietnam. She had some fantastic experiences and saw some amazing sights; so it was particularly difficult for her to narrow them down to a top five.
Nonetheless, here are Nicola's top five experiences from her tour.
What an amazing town - this was my favourite place that we visited. The city itself is the gateway to the temples of the Angkor, however Siem Reap has an amazing night-life on "pub street" - yes it is actually called pub street and the street is lined with great pubs. The food and drinks were so cheap and tasted amazing. The night markets that follow on from Pub Street are the best I have seen; they had amazing jewellery, paintings and handy-crafts.
The Temples of Angkor
These temples are fascinating; Angkor Wat is one of the biggest ancient temples in the world and the size of it doesn't actually hit you until you are walking through the massive archways and climbing the many sets of stairs. My favourite temple was the Bayon Temple, which has many towers that are all carved with the four faces of Buddha. It is stunning and although there were many tourists around I was able to find this amazing sense of peace and awe.
The Floating Village of the Tonle Sap Lake
This is a great little tour that we did from Siem Reap. We drove out to the edge of the lake area, then got on a boat and made our way across the flooded rice patties to see the village that was in the middle of the lake. The local people live off the water, selling the fish they catch to the locals living in Siem Reap. It was amazing to see such a large community living in a way that I could have never have thought possible. It was a real eye opener to another way of life.
Scooter Ride to the top of a Mountain in Chau Doc
This was an experience that I actually didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. Our group each had an individual driver, and we jumped on the back of their scooters. We then wove our way through the French inspired village to the top of the nearby mountain, reaching the top just in time for a beer sitting in a hammock as the sun went down. The sunset with the rice paddies in the foreground and mountains in the background was remarkable.
Junk Boat on Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a must see for anyone heading to Vietnam. Imagine pristine water, steep limestone peaks rising out of the sea and relaxing to take it all in on a sun bed on top of a beautiful old style junk boat. The story of Ha Long Bay is that a giant dragon came down from the mountains and that the islands that are in Ha Long Bay are what was left as his tail thrashed through the earth. It is majestic and the most peaceful place I have ever been.