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Welcome to my travel diary for Cambodia and Laos, which Carol and I visited in November 2019.

After spending a day exploring the temple ruins of My Son in Vietnam last year, Carol and I decided that evening to visit Cambodia and Laos the following year. I’ve always wanted to see Angkor Wat, of course. But after Vietnam we also found ourselves more and more interested in the history of the huge region the colonial-era French dismissively named ‘Indochina’.

In hindsight, after this trip, we could have easily spent three weeks in either of these countries. One of the great pleasures of travelling is to fix the uniqueness of a country in the mind, begin to understand how different it is from its neighbours, and in this case, to comprehensively banish ridiculous concepts like ‘Asia’ as a collective description.

Again, we were lucky to met some great people, and it was especially satisfying to learn even more about the Hmong people, a fascinating tribal culture we first became fully aware of in Sapa, Vietnam.

How to navigate this diary

The Cambodia & Laos link at the top of the page in the main menu takes you to the main Cambodia & Laos page where you can access all the days of this diary. Alternatively, start reading here (or anywhere, for that matter) and use the Previous and Next links at the bottom of each page to navigate through the days. You can always keep track by looking at the date.

When you’re reading a page, you’ll see blocks of photo thumbnails (wait a little while for all of these to load onto the page). You can roll over a thumbnail to read the photo’s caption.

To see full-size versions of these photos (highly recommended, as the thumbnails are cropped), click on a thumbnail. Once the image is blown up, you can navigate left and right through the full size images, or click the X in the top right hand corner to exit them and go back to the text.

Leave a comment at the bottom of any page if you feel like it.

Choul mouy / Tham Keo!

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