Before delving into attraction-specific posts, I wanted to give a brief overview of our very last travel trip we took “on the road”. When we were assigned to Vietnam, we knew we would most likely be returning to the States for Landon to start school in the fall. We had no idea when a replacement for Austin could get to Vietnam, so I was prepared to be in Nghi Son until October. When a replacement was available by the end of August, we agonized over what we should do. On the one hand, we could return to the United States and Landon would start school just two weeks after his classmates. The other option was to use the rest of Austin’s accrued extra holidays and travel a bit through Southeast Asia. From the United States, it is such a long way to Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand, and since we were there, we wanted to see everything on our bucket list before we made the long trek back home. It was a hard decision, but when I stepped back and looked at it from an opportunity perspective, I thought- Landon’s going to be starting school late. We have already accepted that. Does it really matter if he starts two weeks late or four weeks late, in order to have one more epic adventure together in a place that I don’t know if we will ever visit again? Then the answer was clear, and I started making plans.
I have wanted to go to Siem Reap, Cambodia since we started traveling on the road. The ruins of Angkor Wat just seemed like something we needed to see if we were in SE Asia. That was at the top of my list. I also wanted to visit Thailand, since we had never been there before. There needed to be some lazy beach days, and elephants, we had to interact with elephants in some way. That’s what I started with for planning. If we were truly crazy/didn’t have kids, we would have most likely traveled to more than one city in Cambodia, and tried to pack more things in to our time in Thailand, but I think that we did as much as we possibly could with our circumstances. When I list it all out, it does seem like a crazy itinerary, but it was awesome!
Sunday: Ho Chi Minh City-> Siem Reap Cambodia (1 hr. flight)
Siem Reap, Cambodia:
Accomodations: Airbnb near Angkor Wat:
Monday: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm temple ruins
Tuesday: Artisans of Angkor workshop tour, Cambodian Cooking class, Kampong Phluk stilt house/floating village boat tour on Tonle Sap Lake
Wednesday: Siem Reap –> Phuket, Thailand (1 hr., 20 min. flight)
Accomodations: Phuket Marriot Merlin Beach Wednesday: Wat Chalong Buddhist temple, Big Buddha overlook, Kata Beach
Thursday: Phang Nga full day boat tour with James Bond Island
Saturday: Phuket Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Tri Trang Beach
Sunday: Patong Beach
Monday: Phuket–>Bangkok, Thai
land (1 hr., 15 min. flight)
Accomodations: St. Regis, Bangkok (We usually don’t go this fancy, but we had a free night certificate and used points for the other night)
Monday: Dinosaur Planet Theme Park
Tuesday: Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
Originally, we were only planning on spending 24 hours in Bangkok, but when we couldn’t get flights back to the U.S. until a day later, we had one full day in Bangkok. I’m glad that we took that extra day to see the iconic temples of downtown Bangkok!