Greetings from the Avalon Siem Reap! Did you see my photos the other day on Facebook? It’s an absolutely amazing ship. In each of the suites are Wall-to-Wall Panoramic windows with a floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door, and getting to watch the scenery pass by has been so rejuvenating … something I really can’t explain in words. Instead, I’ll let you take a look at some photos and see for yourself:
Not only is the ship stunning, but the more I see of Vietnam through our excursions, the more my eyes are being open to this beautiful culture. Getting to walk through the local markets has been one of my favorite parts. Absorbing the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, produce.
I have been able to capture so many of the local children’s smiles. Now this is the definition of happiness:
Vietnam is home to many religious sites at the base of Sam Mountain. After we visited them, the ship sailed into Cambodia. There, we took a private cyclo tour to the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. The Royal Palace was originally constructed over a century ago and continues to serve as the residence of the King of Cambodia.
The Silver Pagoda’s floor is made of silver tiles and is home to many national treasures, including the Emerald Buddha, carved entirely out of emerald, and the Maiterya Buddha, a five foot tall statue encrusted with over 9,500 diamonds. Insane! Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to take photos in the Silver Pagoda, but I highly suggest you making a trip there to see the impressive Pagoda.
There are two ways to get around Cambodia: cyclo or a tuk tuk. What’s the difference?
- Cyclo: a bike with a single seat connected to the front. You get around by someone pedaling the bike behind you. Why take these? To get the best view of the city.
- Tuk Tuk: a cart being directed by a scooter. These are more like a cab taken to get around the city and can usually hold up to 4 people. You still get a unique view of the city.
Before dinner tonight on the ship, we had children from a local orphanage put on a fantastic show featuring local song and dance. I think everyone in the audience would agree that these kids are quite talented, and so happy to be performing for us.
What am I looking forward to the most for the next couple of days? The traditional water blessing given by local monks. I can’t wait to share this experience with you – check back soon!
All photos courtesy of Danny Blair and Avalon Waterways.