South East Asia – the good, the bad, the ugly

We got back on Monday from our 24-day South East Asia trip and I have so many experiences to share with you. All trips are amazing, but what made this trip even more special for me was the food in addition to the sights. But to start, here is a quick summary of our trip.

The good – The food in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia

Delicious, glorious, plentiful food everywhere in South East Asia

I love to eat – there’s no doubt about that – and Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia proved to be food paradises. Hearty, spicy, delicious and real foods. I can’t wait to show you all the wonderful food we’ve had during the entirety of our trip! We also went to visit as many wet markets as possible where you can see what the local cuisine is.

The bad – Prices in Vietnam

See that delicious fruit? You better be ready to bargain the prices down!

Haggling seems to be a national sport in Vietnam for locals as well as for foreigners. Locals who sell services/goods to tourists try to part as many dongs as possible from tourists, and every tourist tries to keep as many dongs as possible. Every travel guide that I’ve read talked about haggling your way through the country and how prices vary for locals, non-local Viets, and foreigners. It was hard to know the true price of things since prices were not listed anywhere so you always have to ask. And once you ask, the price that comes out of their mouth is definitely not what they’re charging locals.

The ugly – Siem Reap (not Angkor Wat)

Anthony Bourdain said that the Vietnamese said that Cambodia is like the Wild West. I say it’s true.

If you want to visit the splendor that Angkor Wat, there’s no way to avoid Siem Reap. Hence the city is filled with tourists and those in the tourist industry. The city is not one of the prettiest ones and everyone knows that it only exists so that tourists can rest their feet there before going to see Angkor Wat. A lot of the side roads aren’t paved and it’s so dusty everywhere from the tuk tuks driving around. In addition, everything is at least $1 USD. Yes, $1 USD! Not the local currency, riels, but George Washingtons from the States!

What did you guys think of those countries when you went? What were the strongest impressions in your experience?

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