SouthEast Asia & Australia 2013

We’ve arrived in Phnom Penh and .. realized we have miscalculated our arrival date – our booking didn’t start until the day after.

Luckily the hotel had a room available for which we were thankful – everyone was exhausted after the long flight, even though Zoë wanted to jump into the pool right away (and she did once we’ve unpacked 🙂

The next few days were filled with the usual sightseeing, shopping, taking photos and sampling local food.

Below pictures are from both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (which we’ve visited after a stop in Vietnam)

Few days later we took a lengthy (but cheap!) bus to Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City.

First experience with Ho Chi Mingh City was not so good. We got a bit scammed using a shady “taxi” service (paid $20 instead of < $10). For future reference: read travel warnings before traveling to a new place 🙂

Crossing a street in Vietnam was an adventure in itself – not as bad as China’s Xi’an but close enough. Waves of scooters and cars and us – trying to cross the street with two small children in arms. It took us a while to adjust, but by the 3rd day we were (almost) fearlessly able to make it to the other side. Yay!

We stayed in Ho Chi Minh City for a few days – time passed on shopping, eating and exploring the busy heart of the city.

We left Vietnam and headed back to Cambodia – this time to Siem Reap where Derek spent days exploring many temples of Angkor Wat. We stayed at Somadevi Angkor Hotel & Spa, for which we ended up paying only $30 a night (thanks to Expedia’s discounts 🙂

Zoë spent hours in the swimming pool and loved jumping into it without any fear or hesitation – which earned her some amazed looks from staff and other travelers. People were shocked to learn she was just barely over 2 years old, yet able to swim underwater for good 6-8 feet (2-3 meters).

We left after a few days and headed out to Melbourne, Australia where Derek got busy working in a small Expedia’s office (barely 4 people and one of them decided to quit during our visit).

After leaving Melbourne we headed to Malaysia, and ended spending a week on an island of Langkawi.