Laos and Cambodia – food heaven…
Honey, I’m home!!! Still a little bit jet lagged… I woke up at 5 am this morning, couldn’t go to sleep anymore so I opted for some quality photo editing time… As it turns out that was not the best idea in the world, as I was checking all my photos at a 100% for sharpness (I can’t help it… I always do that) and mysteriously and shockingly they all appeared to be a tad blurry. Especially the ones at a higher ISO just looked entirely wrong, so I was starting to panic just a tiny bit when I saw in the corner of my eye that Lightroom was telling me I was looking at the pics at 300% instead of 100%…. No wonder! Geeezzz… Guess that happens when you’re not really awake… Anyway; they did look a lot better at the normal size I can tell you.
O and this post is going to be on the picture heavy side. Just so you know… I haven’t even looked at all the photos properly yet but this is a random selection of just some shots. I have waaaayyyy too many market pictures as we have spend half of our vacation at a market I would think. We had a good time, although I have to be honest that the itinerary was really not the best. We booked a group tour as that is usually a convenient way to see a lot in three weeks without the added hassle of having to organize everything yourself. Which is fine if you have all the time in the world but a little bit of a pain when you have limited time. Normally the balance between travel days and days of is quite good, but we booked with a different company this time..
Which turned out to be somewhat of a mistake. Out of our 21 days of travel we spend 10 of those either in a plane or bus. Way too many… But ok, that happened; lesson learned. We started of flying to Chiang Mai from Amsterdam to cross the border with Laos from Chiang Kong (where I also celebrated my 50th birthday… Can you believe how old I am?… Yikes…)
Laos itself is beautiful and green, at least in the Northern half. The further south we got, the hotter it became and the drier the landscape… The difference between Thailand and Laos is striking. As soon as you cross the border it is clear that Laos is a lot poorer then Thailand, the people are a little less open then the Thai or the Cambodians. It takes them a bit longer to smile but they are still very friendly and inviting. The food – as with any Asian food – is just so good! I’ve got a couple of recipes that I will be trying out later and will share those with you too.
One of my favorite passtimes in any country is to visit the local markets and the best markets are always the ones where there are hardly any tourists around. We found a couple this time around too. Not always as pleasant on the nose with temperatures ranging from 35 C close to 40 C, so you can imagine what happens to all the fragments of meat and fish that are literally everywhere… But nothing can really stop me from going around even though most of the locals look at you with a bit of a weird look when you start taking pictures of the meat, fish or vegetables on display. Haha…
One of the highlights of our trip was no doubt the gorgeous Angkor Wat complex. We went in early and started of with Ta Prohm, also known as the ‘Tombraider temple’ since it was used for the movie as well. We got there at a little past 7 am and had the place virtually to ourselves.. Definitely worth getting up so early as later in the day it was too hot and also far too crowded. I could not believe the amount of people pouring over the temple complexes! Still I managed to shoot quite a few pics of both Angkor Wat and Angkor Tom without any people except a few monks but they color quite nicely with the grey in the temples so that is fine.
I wish we had had more time in Cambodia as I felt we spend too much time in Laos and too little in Cambodia… O well maybe a next time. I did get a little tired of the heat; it really drains your energy and by 9 am it was already scorching hot. So even though we got up early every day, it was hard to move around at some point. We ended in Phnom Penh and flew back home where we arrived yesterday. I’ll probably write some more once I’ve done some Cambodian or Laotian cooking! Thanks also to everyone for their entries on the homemade challenge. I haven’t visited any blogs yet but will get around to it soon. Results will be posted soon too and then the new challenge will come up next week! So stay tuned!