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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

Another excellent and interesting Cambodian overland trip yesterday – the road to Siem Reap in western Cambodia from the cpaital Phnom Penh. First stop was Skuon for the always popular deep-fried ‘tarantulas’. Popular photo subject that is – not always such a popular snack and this time the fried crickets won out over the spiders hands down. Problem with the…

Travelling around Cambodia is never boring; – if you get tired of looking at the ubiquitous sugar palm, paddy-field, water-buffalo combinations then you can be sure that there’ll be some interesting/unusual/crazy sight right around the next bend. Just drove up from Kampot to Phnom Penh on the excellent and freshly upgraded, (give or take a couple of nearly finished bridges),…

According to this article, the word for blue and green is the same in Hmong, though I reckon that probably depends on which Hmong dialect one is referring to and our White Hmong mate says that’s nonsense! There is certainly some confusion between Green and Blue Hmong though, and indeed the aforementioned article also categorizes the Black Hmong of Sapa…

Just received some excellent Cambodia overland – photos from Gerry who participated in our recent Vietnam and Cambodia tour so, though there are way too many good ones to post here, (he claims to have taken over 3,000 photos in 2 weeks!), we’d like to stick up a few for your perusal! (Gerry’s captions, our comments.) Classic Cambodian shot –…

Although the ambulant Akha street vendors of Khao San, Tha Pae Gate and other tourist hot spots are very successful and the Lisus in Pai night market do well in the high season, across Southeast Asia it’s the enterprising and commercially minded Hmong that dominate the hill-tribe handicraft market. Their bright colours and bold patterns can be and have been,…

Must have visited the ruined Ta Nei Temple some 20 times and am yet to see another visitor there! Moreover, it’s a great little Jayavarman VII site in a picturesque forest setting with some interesting carvings remaining. There’s no road to this temple making it, along with Banteay Tom, one of the rare reasonably-sized Angkor sites that you can’t actually…

Continuing westwards from the Flower Hmong of Ha Giang and Black Hmong of Lao Cai we reach Lai Chau Province and its colourful Red Hmong sub-group. Their villages are quite widely spread across the northern and central parts of the province, being replaced to the south and west by Tai and Lao sub groups.  Occasional White Hmong villages can be…

The Black Hmong sub group of Northern Vietnam are particularly well known due to Sapa’splace on the well-trodden tourist trail. Although the town itself is actually inhabited by Vietnamese traders and cafe and hotel staff Sapa is totally swamped on most days by Hmong from the surrounding villages. You’ll also come across the distinctively dressed Red Dzao, the more discreet…

Below, a photo fo a  Flower Hmong girl taken at Bac Ha’s Sunday Market. Don’t intend to be patronising – these guys have as much right to a cellphone as anyone – but it does look incongruous next to their centuries-old traditional costumes! The ‘Flower Hmong’ or ‘Variegated Hmong’ is one of the numerous sub groups of the Hmong ethnic…

“Though the identity of Bakheng Temple (or Phnom Bakheng) is today firmly established, the place hardly gets the respect it deserves…..Late every afternoon, just before sunset, crowds troop up the hill, on foot or by elephant at 20 dollars a ride. Then they climb the temple’s steps to the standing room only, plaza-like upper tier. …….Then they throng back down…

Although he seems to have been on the throne for a fair while, very little is actually known about Jayavarman III – so certainly one of Angkor’s most obscure rulers but not necessarily the lightweight he’s often portrayed to be. Son of J II, born in Hariharalaya as Jayavardhana – that much is known. Dates for his father’s death vary…

Chau Srei Vibol. Oddly enough my 5-year-old’s favourite Angkor temple!? We were ready to go back to Siem Reap for a cold one whilst she was still taking ‘just one more photo’. Not quite sure why she liked the rarely-visited Chau Srei Vibol so much – maybe all the trees and the hilly terrain  – though even at her age…

Whilst the ‘main’ temples of the UNESCO-listed World Heritage Park are now relatively well looked after there are still thousands of smaller, rarely visited Angkor temples that dot the Cambodian countryside from the suburbs of Phnom Penh to the Lao border, north to the Dandrek Escarpment and south to the cave temples of Kampot. Many of these sites may be…

Our Northern Lao tour continues today with a scenic ride across the mountains to the picturesque town of Nong Khiaw situated on the Ou River. (Or Nong Keow, Nong Khiau – there’s no accepted transliteration and numerous versions). We’ll stay at the small and friendly Nong Khiau Riverside – a charming little spot with individual Lao-style wooden chalets set on…

A brief rundown on our Meas Kong school project providing some educational, as well as sports and games materials to this rural Cambodian school. Some of the hard-pressed teachers at Meas Kong primary school, Baray District in Cambodia’s Kompong Thom Province and below…..some of the kids! Meas Kong is a large school – some 1,200 pupils – serving 5 villages…

The ruins of the so-called ‘haunted casino at Bokor, near Kampot in Southern Cambodia, certainly look creepy enough! (Apparently heavy losers at the casino frequently threw themselves off the conveniently placed adjacent clifftop!). Bokor Town, perched high on Bokor Mountain overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, was set up as cool, breezy kind of hill-station-come-resort for hot and sweaty French colonists…

Thanks to Sandra in Mulu and our colleagues at Fieldskills for this great shot of the famous Deer Cave in Mulu National Park in Malaysia’s Sarawak State. Now whether it’s still the world’s largest cave is a subject of hot debate and all depends upon what type of cave one’s talking about anyway, but it is certainly one of the…