22. July, 2008

Yieha! More pictures — finally.

Filed under: Verschiedenes — Eiki @ 9:07 pm

Hi there! I just managed to upload a bunch of new pictures. I added some more exciting photos to the Album of Kampot (where we visited the old French ghost town) and created a new album for our impressions of Vietnam.


Cambodia - KampotCambodia - Kampot26 pictures Google Maps Location

Landed in Germany (tired, but glad)

Filed under: Verschiedenes — Eiki @ 8:33 pm

Here we are, back in Germany. I think I need to get some sleep very soon, so not many words for today. Only a map of our whole trip, to get an overview of our travel.

(Hint: Arrival was in Bangkok, as pictured by the blue airplane. Follow the blue line down to the islands, back to Bangkok, from West to East through Cambodia and Vietnam, with Ho-Chi-Minh City being our departing airport.)

Größere Kartenansicht

21. July, 2008


Filed under: Verschiedenes — Eiki @ 5:25 am

Finally, we have come to the end of our 42 day travel through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

We spent the last two days in “Mui Ne”, a famous beach in the eastern Vietnam, to relax and to enjoy the pleasures of luxury at least for one time. We spent one and a half nights in the nice, small hotel “Hoang Kim Golden Resort” with a pool and did nothing but eating good food, getting tanned and reading.

Now we are back in Ho Chi Minh City and tonight leaves our plane back to Germany. We would like to say a big

T H A N K   Y O U !

to all of our readers here. Thanks for all the comments and for every sentence you were reading. It was very nice to know that even if we are travelling at the other side of the world, our friends and family are still with us.

Oh, and finally, Toodee also wants to say thank you:

PS: To all you Photoshoppers out there: Dont complain - this is the best I could accomplish with “MS Paint”…

17. July, 2008

Good morning Vietnam!!

Filed under: Mekong Region, Vietnam — Eiki @ 5:23 pm

Greetings from Saigon, recently re-named to “Ho Chi Minh City“. We came over here three days ago from Cambodia. Two motos brought us to the border. We had some small troubles there: The military men were confused of our passports, because they say we are from the “Bundesrepublik Deutschland”, whereas their computer wont find this country — after a long time of waiting we helped them to find the correct country “Germany” in their list. :-)

The motos brought us to a small bus station where we took to bus to Ho Chi Minh city (abbr. HCM). Unfortunately, the bus was already fully booked. They told us several times that the bus was full but of course we thought they tried to betray us. So we just stayed in the bus only to find out that they had told the truth… So it bacame a VERY uncomfortable tour in the minibus, during which Johanna and I were forced to sit on our bags and a small chair, without place for our feet… (By the way, we had to pay to full price nevertheless!)

We were so happy when we finally arrived in HCM. We found a small, tiny hotel for 18$ incl. breakfast and fell asleep. On the next day, we discovered the city, which is overcrowded with hundreds of thousends of motor bikes. It is even worse than in Bangkok! I have the feeling that HCM is a big city like every other, without a specific charme.

Johanna had a very good idea to relax after our horrible bus trip: We went to a center for blinds and for one hour, the “Seeing Hands” gave us a very good massage. Much better than the massage we had in Thailand. My thoughts just drifted away and I was fully relaxed afterwards.

On the next day at 7am, we were picked up by a bus to start our 3-day-trip to the Mekong delta. I dont want to bore you with the details. Just the conclusion: The last 3 days were very touristic, but also interesting. We spent a lot of time on big, small and very small boats, slept in a family the first night and spent the second night on the boat. The Mekong is an amazing river, 2km broad and very deep. The water is the blood that feeds the whole region and keeps it alive.

For tomorrow, we booked a hotel in Mui Ne, a beautiful beach three hours east of HCM. We want to spend our last days relaxing at the beach before we leave on the 21st of July. Although I really enjoy this trip, I am also looking forward to be back in Germany with my friends and my family. See you soon!

PS: Sorry, no photos for today… :-(

12. July, 2008

News from deep down in Cambodia

Filed under: Cambodia, Mekong Region — Eiki @ 1:11 pm

Hi all,

today we have only time for a short post, because we just came back from a two-day hiking trip where we climbed more than 1000m height in 6 hours through the jungle (without any long breaks). It was very hard and exhausting, but it was worth the sweat. But one thing after the other: We are in Kampot right now in Southern Cambodia. 100 years ago, there were a lot of French in this country (thats why you can buy Baguette everywhere here!). They built a lot of beautiful buildings that were later destroyed by the “Khmer Rouge”. But one place is still in a good condition: Its a place called “Bokor Hill”, situated in a big Nationalparc, where they built a casino, a hotel, even a post station and a catholic church. They built it on the highest point here, 1000m over sea level, so that the French could find some relief from the hot air down at the sea. Many buildings were built around 1920 or 1940 and only the cement skelleton is left. We desperatly wanted to visit that place because it is mentioned in every tour guide.

Unfortuneatly, the road that goes up to the ghost town is being renewed right now. So the only way to get up there is with guide that takes you up by foot. We found two other people who also went up with us: Sebastian from the UK and Ahmid from Holland. On the first day, we were picked up at 7am in the morning and they drove us to the entrance of the national park. The guide and one ranger (with an AK-4) went up all the way to the top. It was a loooooong way and it was so hot, even in the jungle, that it was a relief to take a shower in a waterfall after 1,5 hours.

Later, we passed an old hideaway of the ancient king, called the Black Palace. And after an exhausting, but neverthesless brilliant walk we reached the GHOST TOWN. It was amazing (and a bit creapy) to visit all these ancient buildings which look like they have just been left. We looked around for 2 hours before we went to sleep.

We got up at 5am in the morning to see the sunset but unfortunately there it was misty. Nevertheless we enjoyed to discover all the rooms of the ancient, great Royal Palace. After a short breakfest we put on our wet clothes (it rained the last hour we got up) and walked to an enormous waterfall. It was a real waterfall, not one of the small ones we saw in Thailand. The way there was nice, too. It was the first time (since some sentences it is Jojo who ist writing) that I saw wild orchides and animal eating plants. After the waterfall the path went through the wild jungle and through a lot of water (I’m so happy that I bought my shoes before), but you will see on the video we’ve taken. The last hours were the same way we went yesterday.

When we arrived we got Icecream because we didn’t have enough food the 2 days, it was soooo good, yammi. Now we’re reallz tyred and will have a last dinner with our trekking friends.

See you soon!

8. July, 2008

Stones, stones, stones. (But not rolling.)

Filed under: Verschiedenes — Eiki @ 7:31 am

5th of July 2008:

Our second day in Siem Reap, Cambodia. THE place to be in this poor, poor country because of the many temples you can visit here. 30 years after the “Khmer Rouge” under their leader Pol Pot, who killed more than 10% of the Cambodian population, most of the Cambodians still suffer from hunger and poverty. In some places of Siem Reap, you are likely to forget the dark past of this country, because their are many luxurious hotels and even casino.

Angkor Wat and all the other temples (Angkor Thom, Bayon and many many more) are just amazing. The three French girls chartered two Tuk Tuk andtook for them and us. Thank you again for the good negotiations, girls! :-)

We saw: Stones, stones and one more time stones. It is so impressive to look at these old buildings and to imagine that they were built more than 700 years ago - without any electricity!

At the end of the day, we were so full of temples, that we were happy to return to the “real” world of today again. Johanna and I had read about a childrens hospital that is free for everyone. It was built by a french doctor called Dr. Beat Richner to fight against the many deseases that the Cambodian people and especially the children suffer from (Dengue fever, Malaria, AIDS,…). These hospitals are called “Kantha Bopha”. The doctor made a little concert on his cello and showed a movie of his work. It is really impressive what this guy established here. The poor people from all over Cambodia come to his countries to get medicine and treatments for their children. At the end, we donated some $$$ and decided to come back tomorrow to donate blood - which would be the first time ever for Johanna!

6th of July 2008:

Early in the morning, we went to the “Kantha Bopha” hospital to donate some blood. Although it was the first time for Johanna, she stayed very tough and hopefully, we help some poor Cambodian children with that!

At 11:30am, we entered the public transportation bus to Phnom Penh. We even had airconditioning!! We thought: “Okay they want to impress us with this first bus but after the next corner they change to another bus without AC, like we have heard and read many times.” But the Cambodians impressed us for the first time: We really stayed in the AC bus until the end of the trip. Unfortunately, the bus driver thought it would be a great idea to torture the passengers with 3 hours of traditional Khmer Karaoke music, but it was also much fun.

We arrived in Phnom Penh on time (!) and found a great place to stay for 7$ per night. It is a nice hotel and we like it here.

7th of July 2008:

We discovered Phnom Penh by foot, guided by Jojo. We bought some small presents and enjoyed the view onto the three great rivers. In the evening, I did something I havent done in the last weeks - I drank a beer and watched TV. To be honest - I can do with some more weeks without TV. Most of it is crap anyway.

8th of July 2008:

Today, we visited the rest of the city (again by foot). It is hard to explain to all these waiting Tuk Tuk drivers that we REALLY prefer to go by foot instead of being thrown into the massy traffic with their small Tuk Tuk. Phnom Penh is nevertheless a nice town. The houses are much smaller than in Bangkok and you see more of the sky. Moreover it is much greener than Bangkok, many parks and trees grow here. Now, we are going to visit Toul Sleng, the genocide museum of the “Khmer Rouge” to learn more of this dark Cambodian chapter. Tomorrow we plan to leave the capital by bus to explore the South of Cambodia, before we continue to Vietnam.

4. July, 2008

And the winner of the land with the most bumpy roads is…. Cambodia!

Filed under: Verschiedenes — Eiki @ 6:34 pm

Wednesday, 3. July:

Very early in the morning (7am), we were picked up by a minibus which was our home for the next 6 hours. Martin, a Dutch guy, had given us a hint the day before that there is a cheap bus connection to Seam Reap, so we decided to leave the elephant island. It became a loooong day.

One km away from the border, the minibus stopped and a very friendly lady told us that we could buy the visa there. We were also very friendly and said “no thanks”. Two girls who were also in the bus bought the visa there and at the end, they had paid twice as much as we did at the border — 2000 instead of 1000 Baht. There were many many more trys at the border to get our money, but we stayed cool and rejected everything.

Finally, we entered the Kingdom of Cambodia. The country welcomed us with a bumpy and muddy road which would not even be called a forest path in Germany. A bus picked us up, only to stop 5min later at a garage were they changed a flat tire. 30 min later, we went on. Another 30 min later, the tire lost air again and we had to stop a second time. Fortunately, that was the last time that something of the bus broke.

The ride was so bumpy that I had to fasten the bags that were lying behind us. Dust came through the windows, the road consisted of more holes than road, noone was able to sleep. At 10.30 pm, we finally arrived in Seam Reap (which literally means “Siamese defeated”) and a horde of Tuk-Tuk drivers welcomed us. Together with 3 French girls, we found a Hotel called “Family Guest House” and fell asleep immediately.

Friday, 4. July:

After breakfast with the French girls, we rented some bicycles and rode to the famous temples of Angkor. We drove around for several hours and visited three of the numerous temples. We just got a glimpse of all the cultural treasures that are hidden here and we will come back tomorrow (maybe by Tuk-Tuk) to discover even more. Photos will follow in a few days, sorry…!

We are feeling fine and enjoy the trip. Greetings to Europe!!
Eiki + Jojo

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