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Solomon and Michelle's Southeast Asian escape

a travel blog by soloshell3


It's our 10th wedding anniversary and we're dropping the kids at Granny's house and heading to southeast Asia. We're actually closer to our 11th anniversary than the 10th, but we've always talked about doing a big trip for the 10th, so this is it.

We've got 40 days and 40 nights from Hong Kong to Sydney and anywhere in between. Here come two 30 somethings ready to pretend they're in their 20s again.

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Welcome to Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia



We high tailed it out of Vietnam to Siem Reap, Cambodia where we planned to see Angkor Wat. Cambodia was breath of fresh air. The people where happy to see us and the dollar really had legs - 75 cent beer and 4 hand massages for $10. That's right, 4 hand massages. The only thing better than a thai massage is a thai massage from two masseuses at the same time, one for arms and one for the legs.

Our $15/night hotel included airport transport. There was a man at arrivals holding a sign with our name on it. We followed him to this contraption:

... the Cambodian version of the tuk tuk, where he produced two complimentary bottles of water for us as a welcome refreshment - serious class. The sun was setting as we bounced down the dusty road towards town and our driver pulled over to let us take a picture of the sunset. We were not in vietnam anymore :)

The hotel delivered as well. At $15/night the rooms where a we bit on the dumpy side, but the hotel grounds where great and the place had a good flashpacker vibe. After settling in we had what turned out to be a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant for $3 a piece. Then we retired to the hammocks and enjoyed $0.75 beer from the hotel bar.

hammok area at the hotel:

6 arm budha in front on the hotel grounds:

The next day we booked the same driver/tuk tuk to run us around angkor watt for the day($10). Most guide books say you need 2 or 3 days to do Angkor Watt, but Michelle was done by mid day and by sunset I felt that we had seen it all. This worked out great because it meant we got to sleep in and spend the next day in Siem Reap, which was a pleasure. My only regret is that we didn't book more time in Cambodia, but at this point our flight out to Phuket was already booked.

Causeway to Angkor Wat:

Cheesy tourist photo:

Posing next to aspara:

This place is crawling with Buddhists who will try to put incense in your hand and direct you to place it at a shrine for "good luck", thus compelling you to leave a financial "donation". Here Michelle gets caught before she realizes what's happening:

Many of the structures are crumbling apart:

Various pics at and around Angkor watt:









Various pics around the town of Siem Reap:

At a bar/restaurant near pub street:


Most of the roads are unpaved:



permalink written by  soloshell3 on January 17, 2009 from Siem Reap, Cambodia
from the travel blog: Solomon and Michelle's Southeast Asian escape
tagged Cambodia, SiemReap and AngkorWat

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Kata Beach Phuket aka Paradise

Phuket, Thailand


I'd read a lot of good and bad things about Phuket. The good had to do with how beautiful it was and the bad had to do with being overpriced and overdeveloped. Consequently I spent a lot of our free time over the previous week researching where to stay. For the most part this research was an exercise in frustration as I could always find something bad about every place I wanted to stay. In the end we settled on Mom Tri's Boathouse on Karon Beach.

It was absolutely incredible. The walls of our suite were all windows, overlooking the beach:


In front of Mom tri's at sunset:


My other concern had to do with fighting other tourist for a sun chair and/or a bit of beach, especially since this was the high season for tourists. Mom Tri's was an oasis on an otherwise crowded beach. They seemed to have the exclusive right to provide sun chairs on the strip of sand in front of their hotel. When we went out to the beach they would set up a chair and umbrella for us on demand. If you looked left or right down the beach you would see rows and rows of sun chairs crammed together like coach seats on an airplane. But for us there was plenty of elbow room to the left and right, and nothing but ocean in front.

Red umbrellas in front of Mom Tri's:

Everyone Else:

As soon as we settle into our chairs they rushed over multiple towels and glasses of ice water. And if that wasn't enough, every few hours they would bring complimentary fruit skewers. We were truly in paradise.

For the first few days we did nothing but sit on the beach or swim, with myself indulging in a daily thai massage. On day 3 or 4 we did a dive(me)/snorkelling(michelle), which included visiting the famous beach(The Beach) on ko phi phi.

Diving near ko phi phi:

Miscellaneous views from the dive boat:


'The Beach' from the boat:


On 'The Beach':

We finished up the week with a night in patong, the super party district at patong beach.

permalink written by  soloshell3 on January 26, 2009 from Phuket, Thailand
from the travel blog: Solomon and Michelle's Southeast Asian escape
tagged Beach, Phiphi, Phuket and Kata

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This is Solomon and Michelle. She's an Irish girl from coal island and he's a yank from California.

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