I Know What You Did Last Winter

Okay, I’m really determined to break this habit of blogging once a blue moon, because let’s face it, it’s not really kosher to blog about the best of (insert year here) when you’ve never even written about over half of those events. Since returning to campus last Friday, I’ve been catching up with friends over our winter break shenanigans, and since I’ve basically had the same conversations over the past few days, I figured, why not do the blogging equivalent?

For winter hols (that’s late December for you Southern hemisphere folk), the fam and I went to Vietnam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Saigon) and Cambodia (Siem Reap). Yes, it was awesome, and yes, I practically lived on pho. I’ve uploaded some photos here and here, but you can also click on the photos for a larger size if 600×400 won’t cut it.

VIETNAM:

Ha Long Bay is a bay (duh) dotted by these lovely limestone karst formations and beaches. Upon our arrival, we took a boat ride along the water, but the sky was too foggy to really make out any of the limestone shapes.

Along the boat ride, we would encounter several smaller boats selling fresh fruit.

CAMBODIA:
If you’re really into ruins, I highly implore you to check out Cambodia the next time you’re hitting up the travel guides, because HOLY CRAP Angkor Wat will be like icing on the cake for you. They filmed Lara Croft here, but while traversing the ruins, I felt more like a contestant on Legends of the Hidden Temple looking for the Stolen Arm of Shiva, without a Pendant of Life than an Angelina Jolie namesake — which, for the record, is a far more awesome feeling.

In a way, Angkor Wat reminds me a bit of climbing the Great Wall or hiking Machu Picchu. But unlike those two places, it doesn’t come with the nasty side effects of fatigue from incessant uphill hiking (Great Wall) or altitude sickness (Machu Picchu). Instead, the temple complex is laid out across a huge expanse of flat land. And whereas the other two feel like a massive trail to hike or a wall to conquer, exploring Angkor Wat is less a show of your physical strength and more about appreciating the architecture. And fun fact: in the middle of writing this entry, I’ve just learned that it’s the largest religious building in the world.

But to be perfectly fair, there were stairs. In fact, you might be looking at this photo and thinking, “Gee, that staircase sure looks pretty steep!” Well! If the people grabbing the side of the rails for dear life don’t give it away…

…then this just might:

Once I was back on even footing, it was fun to watch in amusement (and horror!) as the other tourists held on for dear life as they tried to make the treacherous flight down.

We climbed this temple just in time for the sunset. πŸ™‚

Anyway! That’s Vietnam and Cambodia for you. I greatly apologize for the dearth of food photos (after all, me and food porn are practically synonymous by this point) but after you take photos of five different bowls of pho, it gets to the point of “REALLY, CINDY, REALLY?” To make up for it, I promise I’ve got bucketloads of food photos that never really saw the light of day on this blog. Now I’m craving pho.

10 comments on “I Know What You Did Last Winter

  1. I am intimidated by that flight of stairs and worried for the frail-looking folks ascending/descending it..

    These pictures are lovely! I’ve been desiring a trip to Vietnam for a long time…

  2. Wow, those stairs are so so so scary. My fear of heights would make me absolutely freak out, so I commend your bravery! haha. These photos are beautiful though, as always. I had a friend who went to Cambodia a few weeks ago and said Angkor Wat is something I absolutely have to see…so hopefully I will see it too one day!

  3. I’ve recently started going on trips every year (sort of like a reward for my work), but I’ve yet to see such amazing things. Not that I didn’t see some gorgeous places so far (most of Israel, Budapest, Paris, Versailles, London, Oxford, Barcelona, part of Athens)… but Angkor Wat is truly amazing.

    So far the only thing I knew about it was the it was this place which used to popup in Facebook’s Geochallenge game which I’d get wrong sometimes, due to placing it in India. πŸ˜€

    I’ll just drool over you Flickr pictures now. πŸ˜€

  4. Your pictures are always SO beautiful. They look like they belong in National Geographic! And this makes me jealous. D:

  5. Your photos are beautiful! I’ve wanted to go to Vietnam for ages, want to even more now! It looks amazing there.

  6. WOWOWOW. I want to know how you afford to travel SO MUCH! And your photos are all really good πŸ™‚ They remind me of the Tomb Raider, haha.

  7. I am so jealous! That is so amazing that you got to visit all those places and take such beautiful photographs. I’m also sooo happy that you mentioned Legends of the Hidden Temple! I LOVEDDD that show so freakin’ much! Most people don’t even remember it, I used to come home from school everyday and watch it, good times…

  8. Beautiful photos! I’d love to travel to Asia. So far I’ve only traveled around Europe, as I live here. Asia and America are still yet to be seen πŸ™‚

  9. I love the photos you took! I’ve never really wanted to visit any Asian countries outside of those popular east-Asian ones before, but that’s changed a lot now. I especially want to visit Vietnam since that’s where my boyfriend is from πŸ™‚
    I dunno how I feel about Cambodia though, since I’m not a big fan of ruins, and ohmygoodness, those steep stairs freak me out o_o

  10. Pingback: cindypepper! » The Obscenely Late Holiday Vacation Post

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