Travel Page by Planet Ranger
Home search About Advice

Travel Page

Andrew's Indochina Adventure

So, this is the year it's going to happen!
Talked about it for far too long!
As the New Year celebrations are in full flow and I'm lighting the fireworks with friends, I'm secretively thinking to myself, "Going to Cambodia and Vietnam this year".
Of course, I've been saying that every New Year’s eve since I was 18, but I knew it really was going to be happening this year.
So, I've booked my time from work, confirmed my flights and arranged all my visa's and on 11th of July, I leave London Heathrow for Bangkok via Adu Dhabi.
Have a couple of days in pure luxury at the Royal Orchid Hotel when I arrive, apart from that I have nothing planned except I have a flight home from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam on the 24th.
The route is Bangkok, across Thailand, over the Cambodian boarder to Siem Reap and Angor, down to Phnom Penh, into Vietnam and across to Ho Chi Minh City.
Only restriction is I must complete it all overland.
I'll update this site as often as I can and please feel free to leave messages or ask any questions.
See you all when I get home providing I'm not kidnapped by the Khmer Rouge midway.
Here it goes! Andrew

Diary Entries

Saturday, 24 July 2004

Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol, UK

Well, I guess this is it.
This will possibly be the last last time I’ll ever update this site.

In the last 2 weeks, I have travelled 16,000 miles, flown on 6 planes, took 2 long distance bus rides, 11 taxies, 1 rickshaw, 2 tuk-tuk’s, 2 motorbikes, 1 hot air balloon, a speedboat, 2 cyclo’s, 1 ferry and a train.

In total I left or entered 5 countries.

I met people from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and also from United Arab Emirates, U.S.A, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, South Africa, Isle of Man, Libya, France, China, Taiwan, Italy and of course England.

They’ve been a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Atheist.

Black, white and yellow. Oh, and me…….red.

To say I’ve had a great time would be an understatement.
“Life Changing” would be a better expression.

Some of you disbelieved I would begin such a journey, where I couldn’t use my Hilton Members Card. So did I.
But backpacking Samsonite style was never an option.

I’d like to thank Kathy for the loan of the backpack, Les for the memory stick (got it working in the end) and Carrie for the Lonely Planet and sharing your knowledge on Nam.

And without sounding like the MTV awards, I’d like to thank you. For without you, this site would be worthless.
I never intended this to be a “Rough Guide” or a “Lonely Planet”, merely a place where I could share my experiences, and sometimes emotions, with family and friends as and when they happened.
I thank you all for the kind and funny messages. You were company on what was never going to be a lonely trip.

Hundreds of you have visited this site since I launched it 2 weeks ago, most of which I will never meet. But if you arrived here in your quest for knowledge to help you on your own travels, I hope it has helped you make the right decision and visit South East Asia.
If you have had a desire to visit Cambodia but an apprehension, don’t. Just go and say “Hello”.
The Khmer people touched me. I’d move there tomorrow if I knew how to help them.

And of course I’d like to thank Planet Ranger for the free webspace and instant access they give to travellers so that experiences can be shared and we can all learn.

In the future, I’m sure I will often return to this site, to read my diary and your messages, with a smile and maybe even a tear and think about that summer of 2004 when I left my expectations and inhibitions at Heathrow and opened my heart and mind to a whole new world.

God bless you, whoever your God maybe.

Andrew

Saturday, 24 July 2004

Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Well on my way back now.

The temperature is 43oC here, the hottest I've ever felt.
Going to get some halal chicken and cup of tea so catch you all later.

Byeeeeeeeee!

Friday, 23 July 2004

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

So here I am, back where I started 12 days ago. Bangkok.
A metropolis of Asian welth.
A living presentation of global success.
And why not, they deserve it. They’ve worked hard enough to make it what it is.
Bangkok plays residency to some of the richest people on the planet. People who could buy Cambodia outright from their personal fortunes (or should I say, pay off their national debts).

Bangkok is great. Full of energy. You just feel so positive here and I can’t believe how happy they all are. Their always bloody smiling. It’s beautiful.
In Thailand, I’ve only seen this city, but when you add to Bangkok the fabulous beaches of the south or the fantastic landscapes of the northern regions, I can see why this has been a popular spot for backpackers for many years.

I did pop into The Bamboo Bar last night for a quickly but left at 2am as there was no way I could miss the flight. Anyway after the relaxing day I had, I couldn’t be arsed “Bigging it up” as they say.

I flew with Thai Airlines. How much further could it have been from the flight I got to Siem Reap last week. I got upgraded as I arrived so that was a good start. I had to do a bit of flirting with the little minx on the check-in desk to get it (yes, yet another who’s been promised the life of a princess in Bristol) but it was well worth it. This was possibly the best flight I ever had. The plane was perfect, the cabin crew were fantastic and you even get your in flight meals served on bone china plates. None of that tin foil nonsense up this end of the plane chaps!

I was going to get a bed in the city near Patpong for tonight, however decided to stay near the airport as it takes an hour to get across the city and I would need to get up at 5am. I decided after doing so well on the budget I set myself, I’d get a bit of quality for my last night in Asia. Therefore I booked into The Rama Gardens. This place if beautiful. 5 star treatment everywhere. It’ 21 world class restaurants & bars. I get enough problems trying to decide what to order off the menu normally, so what chance have I got here. I can’t even decide which restaurant to have dinner in tonight.
I was going to hit one of the Malls to do some shopping earlier, however, hung around the hotel instead. I’d have only spent too much money and I was just amazed with this place.
Then I was going to head to Patpong this evening but truth is, I’m finding it hard to prise myself away from this place. It’s so contemporary in design and they got everything here, you think to yourself, why leave?
Just had a 2 hour aromatheropy massage, now typing away drinking my 3rd Singapore Sling listening to the geezer playing the piano in the bar. Sure I’m giving Patpong a miss.

Oh and by the way, how much for this extravagance? Just 29 pounds English. Oh yes cheaper than a Travelodge in Neath.

So that’s it. After all the rushing around over the last 2 weeks, I managed to get 2 fansatic days chilling out. I didn’t expect it so it’s a bonus!

I'll bid you all fairwell and catch you tomorrow!

Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Friday, 23 July 2004

Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Check this out!

Go to the Planet Ranger homepage and they've used my photo of the 2 Buddhist monks at Ankor Wot!

Bring it on!

Thursday, 22 July 2004

Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Hello All,

The fact that I am writing this from Saigon and not The Mekong Delta should be good enough for you to have already noticed that I didn't make it.

After I mailed you last night I went back to the room to get changed then headed out to meet the Irish girls and Fabiccio at midnight. We met this guy called Erwann from France who took us to a club called Saffron. If you’re ever in Saigon, you have to go there.
There is nothing like it. Not worth going before midnight as there's nobody there. After that, the young Vietnamese crowd start to turn up after they close their restaurants. We got there about 2:30 and the place was pumping.

I'm not saying we had a late night, but when your doing Thi Chi with the Vietnamese in the park at sunrise, you know it's time to go to bed.

And there you have it.
There was just no way I was going to be getting up at 7am for my bus to go down to The Mekong Delta.
But I did try, but it felt as if after nearly 2 weeks of traveling and partying, my body was saying "That's it, enough’s enough".
So for the first time of my travels, I failed to get up and had a lie in. It felt great and so did I afterwards.

Now what am I going to do?
Nothing was the answer to myself.
Headed to this lush Vietnamese restaurant for an early lunch. Done a spot of shopping, yep, got more chopsticks then made my way to the park to read my book.
When I get there they got the afternoon session of Thi Chi going on so I figure, I'm here now, and join in. There's maybe about 60 or 70 people doing it.
In the centre of everyone is this little old lady who is leading the rest like some kind of aerobics instructor, however, I soon find out that Thi Chi is usually started by 1 person, anybody, then others join in. The morning sessions can have 100's attend.
And I'm doing this much better than I was this morning (I fell over twice). Such simple movements, but so effective.

Then I sit down amazed by the new craze over here. It's a cross between a shuttlecock and a hacky-sack. There's a circle of 5 people to start then soon there's about 20, all keeping this item in the air. I'll be getting a couple of these to bring back ready for our next trip the The Downs.
I meet a couple of Vietnamese guys and we're having a chat and the next thing I notice is its dark and I've been in the park all afternoon. Now that's chilling!

I feel so comfortable tonight. I've had all my clothes washed at the hotel so now it's like:
"Oh! what do I want to wear? Maybe this or maybe that!"
Full rucksack worth of clothes, washed and ironed for 60 pence English. Bargin!
All that is, except for my fave white one. According to all the travelers, whites always come back pink. I guess it's true. I just thought it was a popular color to wear with the travelers.

I'm not going to The Bamboo Bar tonight. No way!

Had a fab Shrimp Sautee with steamed rice before I came here and now going for an early night. I got to fly to Bangkok in tomorrow.

Off to bed now so goodnight y'all.

Andrew

p.s Actually, I may just stop by The Bamboo Bar for a quick one. Just one! Come on, I'm on my holiday and it sure as hell would be rude not to.

Wednesday, 21 July 2004

Location: Saigon, Vietnam

*** HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY ANNE ***

Hi All,

Ended up in The Bamboo Bar in what ended up to be an International Pool Compition. Then moved onto a bar called Guns & Roses until 4:30. Oh dear!

This morning I had a walk around the city before heading towards The War Remnants Museum. It used to be called The Museum Of Chinese And American War Crimes until not so long ago, but they changed it not to offend the growing number of tourists.

The museum is a fascinating display of war memorabilia, however, as expected; it portrays the war from only one side. Throughout the museum, you are reminded that the US Forces dropped 7,850,000 tons of bombs on Vietnam. They also remind you that throughout the entire 2nd World War America only dropped 2,057,244 tons of bombs over every battlefield.
More astonishingly, there is a full room related to the fact that America sprayed 75,000,000 liters of defoliants, including dioxin, over croplands and forests in the South. The effects of this have caused much suffering and continue to today with many people being born very physically disabled. There are more Siamese twins born here than anywhere else on Earth and it has been proved it is because of the contaminated soil.

America don't get a chance to put their side forward, however, I wonder what the War Museum in Pearl Harbor looks like?

In the courtyard is a collection of US Helicopters, Planes, Tanks and various artillery. All proudly displayed as if saying " look what we have".

Being into photography, more interesting to me are the 3 art galleries of photographs from the war.
The first called "Requiem" is of hundreds and hundreds of photographs taken from the front line by US, Vietnamese and other nationalities. They show the blood and guts of war. As I walked around, I didn't feel sides, only saddened at seeing photos of young soldiers killing each other. The photos are graphic and many have never been released outside of the museum.

You are also reminded that 58,000 US troops lost their lives during the war. But continually reminded that 2,000,000 Vietnamese people were killed.

Another gallery shows you the effects of the war. Close up photo's of Vietnamese children blown up. Even children shot dead lying on the road as a US tank is about to run over their corpse.
There is a photo of a US Soldier, walking along carrying half a dead Vietnamese man. The soldier is clearly laughing.

The 3rd gallery shows the support from around the world against the war and the demonstrations that were taken in almost every country of the world for the US to remove their troops and go home. Millions of Americans marched throughout every American city, but for years the bloodshed continued.

An interesting fact I learned there was that while President Kennedy allowed his armed forces to go into war, his father Joe Kennedy, made a fortune of $300,000,000, making and selling weapons to his countries army. War is clearly a good family business to be in.

As I said, it is one sided, but what I know is that in both countries, most people did not want the war, millions died, even more casualties and even more family members lost loved ones.
And for what?
What was the point?
These two countries have hardly spoken since, so their not even trying to move things forward that much.
To me, it felt like two bald men fighting over a comb. Pointless!

However, I will say one thing in defence of America that the museum fails to note. There are still 7,000 US P.O.W's that are unaccounted for. Maybe they are still held (they'd be about 60 now), murdered or died naturally.
Who knows?
The Vietnamese Govenment has never said what has happened to them.

The photographs are graphic so please be aware.

After the museum, I said to my driver "take me to the clothes shops"
Way hay!
Saigon’s answer to New Bond Street.
Fab and cheep. Mainly Japanese and French designers. Shirts from top Japanese brands for 5 pound.

Also went food shopping to pick up some Vietnamese oils, spices and sauces. Oh and chopsticks!
Guess what the next dinner party is?

Then I went to this amazing Sushi restaurant. No kitchen, they don't need one it's all raw. Just simply prepared in front of you.
Moorish!

"Where next?" I say, why the hairdressers of course. I was a bit nervous trying to explain to someone who doesn't speak English how I wanted my hair cut, but it was only a short while before I realized he was more nervous about doing something wrong.
I had a manicure while my hair was getting cut, each hand on the knee of some little honey while they pampered away! Oh there is a God!
Then a foot, leg, back, neck and head massage.
Oh, and by the way, he did a sharp cut.
Have I told you I'm having a great time?

In an Internet Cafe at the moment (obviously) but soon going back to get changed and meeting up with everyone at the Bamboo Bar. We're going to the famous "Apocalypse Now" club tonight.

Busing it down to the Mekong Delta in the morning so looking forward to that.

Take it easy! Andrew

p.s I can't get Cambodia out of my mind.


Tuesday, 20 July 2004

Location: Saigon, Vietnam

*** HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMARA ***

"GOOD MORNING VIETNEM!"

I've been dying to say that, but guess that was predictable.
Yes I'm here in Ho Chi Minh City otherwise still known locally as Saigon. And this is offically the furthest place from home I have ever been in my life.

10 hours on the bus!
Had to get up at 5:30 this morning to get the 6:15 bus across town to the main bus terminal. The main bus then left at 06:45. God it was painful. Rice field's are fantastic to see but they become a bit boring when your knees are wedged up under your chin for so long.

Remember me telling your that I was told by travellers that it will take 2 hours to get over the boarder between Cambodia and Vietnam?
" IT"S BLOODY TRUE"
God we waited and waited, seemed we were never going to get in. Firstly, you have to go "OUT" of the Cambodian checkpoint. That takes an hour. Then you have to walk and lug all your belongings across "No Mans Land" then wait another hour to get into Vietnam.
All this in baking heat. No shade!
I really don't know what would happen it you were authorised to leave Cambodia, walk across the strip, then Vietnam refuse you entrance.???????

But hay I'm here now. Saigon! Vietnam! Yes Mamm!
Got off the bus and found a hotel on Bui Vien. It's 1km west of the city and the main street here for backpackers.
Again, it's not too bad. I got a double bed, my own bathroom with hot running water (forgot how lush it was) and satalite TV all for 4 pound a night.
Catch is the view.
It ain't got one. There's no windows. But as I don't intend being in there during the day and only sleeping in the night is perfect.
Oh, and they don't charge extra for the cockroaches!

I'm travelling with Audrey and Suzi from Dublin (don't tell anyone but Suzi's dropdead!)

I was sorry to leave Cambodia, it had captivated me. The people are simply like us, Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters.
Only they've had it harder than any of us and continue to have an unfair start in life.
But something inside me, makes me feel that it will not be the last time I go there. But I don't know why I say that.

Can't really tell you much about Nam or Saigon yet as I've been in the pub with the Irish girls since we got here.
There are a few things I want to check out while down here like the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta but I'll sort that out tommorrow.

Anyway, I'll love you and I'll leave you 'cos we're all meeting back up in the Bamboo Bar at 10pm

Here's something else to remember:
"Value what you have, not want what you haven't"

Andrew.








Previous Diary Entries

Choose a date from the menu below to view older diary entries in a new window.

Photos - Click Below

Leave a Message

Name:

Email (optional):

Message:

Travelling Soon?

Get Your own Planet Ranger Travel Page. Click Here


Recent Messages

From dave
mate, your trip sounds awsome - i agree a life changing experience - you did the trip well and very pround of how you got on - hope life is treating you well, don't check my e-mails enough, however will definately save this log of yours. be good to hook up over a beer or 2 to tell me how you got on

take care boss

dave
Response: Hello Mate,

Great to hear from you. Lifes just fantastic and loving every minute. How's Chelsea, still mixing with the rich & famous? Trust your well.
Beer sounds great. Can you mail me your mobile, I lost mine along with every number.

Cheers, Andrew.
From kelly (dozeybird)
i cant believe one person could do so much in such a short period of time- i find this site completely mind blowing and can only wonder at the emotions you must have towards your journey, you have to agree you probably did it all from the night life to the history, the care free to the soul destroying images and effects of war it must have been hard to tear yorself away from such an incredible experience especially when the delights of tesco eastville are what you have to come home to! i have really enjoyed the site you have done a great job just make sure that next time you do it take me with you!!!as great as it has been its good to have you back and with the state of the canteen you probably feel quite at home -plenty of beasties in there! love me xxx
Response: Hi dozeybird!

It was full on. Took full advantage of where I was and the wonderful people I was meeting so there wasn't much time to rest. Was either doing stuff ot moving to next place everyday.
Anyway, thought I'd catch up on my sleep when I get back to work.

Your right, I can't get some of the things I saw out of my head. Feel I need to go back to Northern Cambodia and do something. But what?

And on the other matter....the food was much tastier and safer!

Love u honey.XXX
From Dad and Sally
WHAT CAN I SAY THAT ,OTHER THAN I AM PROUD TO BE YOUR FATHER AND WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN TO RELATE IT SO PROFESSIONALLY.iTHINK YOU WOULD MAKE A GOOD JOURNALIST WELL DONE
Response: Why thank you father, try not to let you down!

Cheers
From Jess, Carrie and Chr
Hi Andrew

Glad you liked Vietnam so much, hopefully it's given you a taste for more! Brings back good memories when you mention the Bamboo Bar too! Wish we'd all gone with you now as well.

Jessie, Carrie and Chrissy
Response: You should have guys!
Maybe next time?

Oh The Bamboo Bar. Missing it already. Somehow the Bradley just will not be excepted anymore!

Andrew
From pam
Hello Andrew,

Well haven't you had the most wonderful holiday?? How can I look you in the face in a disciplinary meeting (maybe)and then picture you having a massage or munching a crispy beetle or even a caterpillar, actually it will be fun as you swing about in that chair, you know the one that falls backwards just as you are making your point, and then take myself back to your travels which have been truly magical and wonderfully written Andrew, I reckon you might have a book in you now, what do you say?

See you in work...........sorry to burst your bubble but when is that going to be??

Take care and thanks for sharing this with me,

Pam.
Response: Why does that chair always do that to me?

Thanks for your kind messages.

Back in 1st thing Monday!
Shite in it!

Andrew. X

From ju
Hi Andrew
Just sitting here with a large glass of Tesco Finest Chardonnay. You have done yourself proud over the last 2 weeks, by acheiving your dream.You enjoy your last couple of days...have a safe journey home, will put a chardonnay in fridge for you, Love Ju Geoff Carley & Adam XXXX
Response: Thanks for company guys.
Back here now so guess thats about it.
See you in the week. x
From Simon
Hi Andrew, we've never met but as I met your dad as a brother 2 weeks ago after 33years, he gave me this site 2 days ago! Seems you're having the time of your life I loved Bangkok when we went out, treasure the time, hope we meet up sometime.
Response: Hi Simon,
Thanks the visiting and saying "Hello" it's really appreciated.
Glad you had a great time with Dad and I'm sure we'll meet soon.
Take care. Andrew
From Laura
Hello again, I have finally had a chance to read your site, it sounds fantastic. I am glad that you have had so many wonderful experiences. It is amazing how humbling it can be to see people happy with what life has given them. It's so true you should value you what you have -I hope that you still feel that way when you return.
It will be great to catch up as I have a lot to update you about. I will be away until the middle of next week as I am going home to look after my Mummy, she's not coping so well. I will speak to you soon, I can't wait to hear all about your adventure. Take care see you soon. Lots of Love Laura
Response: Hi Laura,

The trip was fantastic. Everything I wanted and a whole lot more.
Your right it's easy to write those things when your surrounded by those places and people, and easy to forget how others live when we get cought back in the rat race.
But this was never supposed to be a "holiday", just so happended I had to take time off as holiday to get there. Cambodia is a place I needed to visit for a long time as we spoke about before. But being back here now I don't feel "right done that, wheres next?" infact contrary, I want to go back. Like now!

I don't have my phone at the moment, should get a new one this week I hope. I'll text you when I get it.

You take care of your Mum. I am thinking of her.

Loads of love. Andrew. X
From Penny
Wow!!
What an experience,so jealous-want to do that too.Thanks for mailing me,only just picked up but sat transfixed by all you wrote.Can't begin to imagine the feelings you must be having.Look forward to hearing more soon.Take care.Love Penny x
Response: Hi Penny,

Hope your well. So I did get the right email address then!
It's been a fantastic experience, one that I'll never forget, but an emotional roller coaster too.
I'll tell you more about it next week, if I can be arsed to leave this wonderful country.
Love Andrew. x
From Dad and Sally
WELL DONE,you have achieved so much during the past 2 weeks and what we have read has made us feel that we have been there with you on the trip.your informative diaries have been so explicit and has enabled us to have a better understanding of these people
Response: Thanks Dad & Sally,

I'm gald that you've been able to enjoy my travels with me.
Oh! the age of digital technology.
Your going to love Thailand.
I'll call you Sunday.
Byeeeeee!
From Jean Rees
Hi Andrew, you're mum gave me your webb address. It's really interesting reading and incredible how cruel mankind can be. I'm pleased for you that you've had the opportunity to do this journey as it's obviously something close to your heart. I'm actually working at the BBC at the moment until the end of the month and have found 5 minutes to visit your page. I know that you're mum is enjoying the close contact with you that the internet can offer. Continue to enjoy yourself and come home safely.
Jean (mum's neighbour)
Response: Hi Jean,
Thanks for dropping by.

I have always had an interest in Cambodia and appriciate so much that I have been able to visit their country, for not many of them will ever be able to visit mine.

Speak soon. Andrew
From lee
hi mate just popped into an internet cafe to see how you are getting on. Pictures look excellent and terrible at the same time, are you sure you wont be mentally scarred. Having a great time in malta shame about hotel what a dive right in the centre of everything.have a great time see you soon.
Response: Hello Mate.

Don't moan about hotels until you start the "backpacking" thing. We got rats here. It's like being in work.

But Malta has fantastic 17th century architecture so I guess that must be beautiful.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday, we'll be back in work in 4 days.

Love to Manling.
From ju
Hi Andrew it's 7.30pm here whats the time difference between us and you? Bet the time has flown. God you've experienced something special in the last couple of weeks, bet you'll feel torn to come away, but by the sounds of it you'll go back.

Where did you get that photo of the guy carring all my luggage in Greece acouple of years ago, knew it was my luggage cause if you look carefully you can see my Gucci label.
Take care you, love as always xxxx
Response: And there was me thinking that you only used Louis Vuitton.

I took the photo in "No Mans Land" between the Cambodian and Vietnamese boarders. Don't worry, I knew they were your bags, 'cos one of them had a "I LOVE ROBBIE WILLIAMS" sticker on it.

It's mainly 7 hours ahead here, but it's 6 at the moment due to British Summer time.

Sounds like I'll be coming back?
Wait and see!

Many thanks and take care .XXXXX
From Carol
Still doing your Alan Whicker impression then, nice to here from Laura,We are all fine here, no probs, con., to enjoy ,take care, missing you.Much love from Mum, Gordon Big Al., xx x x
Response: : )
From Laura
Hi Andrew, Sounds like your having fun. Glad you finally did it? I haven't had a chance to read all about your adventures yet, but I will. Take care and hope to see you soon.

Love Laura

PS Wish I was there.
Response: Hi Laura!

I was wondering where you had been.
Sure I'm glad I done it. Nothing was going to stop me once I had made up my mind and it's the best thing I've ever done.

Love Andrew. XXX

PS Wish you were here? Don't forget you were invited.
From Steve
Hiya,

Pictures look excellent, i`m sure that they don`t even come close to the real thing in capturing the colour, the people and the atmosphere.

With your beard and your views on capitalism, you`ve gone from Bill Bryson to Michael Moore!!! you just need to get yourself a baseball cap.

Travel safely and try not to catch a tropical disease on your last few days.....it will not stop itching!!

Response: Hi Buddy,

What, you mean like Malaria?
I'll try not too. Are you speaking from experiance?

You take good care of yourself mate.

Catch you soon for a beer. Andrew.
From Dad and Sally
We are enjoying reading your daily reports you have certainly covered a lot in such a short time, as we have been so interested we have booked to go to Thailand for 18 days next feb , we hope you have a good time in Vietnam, take care .
Response: Why does that not surprise me. You will love it. What's your itinerary? Guess your going to stay with Phil and Emily, but make sure you keep a few days free for Bangkok.

Cheers, Andrew
From Bridget
Hi Andrew

I read your account of your visit to The Killing Fields yesterday, & have only just been able to email you, I can't get that little boy's face out of my head. In another time & place that could have been Matthew.

If nothing else about your trip this has got to have changed your outlook on life it must have, you see these terrible things on T.V, but it doesn't hit home, I guess till you see it for real, your a braver person than me, I don't think I could have done it, but I guess you had to.

I think the Monk conversation, beats Ms Klass anyday!!!

But trust you to get a visit to the Kings Garden even the other side of the world your still pulling a fast one.

Enjoy the time you have left in that breathtaking country,& stay safe.

Lots of love.xxx
Response: What, me pull a fast one?

Yep, the monk conversation was cool but I'm still waiting for Myleene to call. I should have took her number.
Yer right!

You don't realise before you head off, because then it's just about "the travel". But when your here, it really does make you question a lot about yourself.
If I haven't changed it will not have be a wasted journey, just a shame!

Love, Andrew. x
From ju
Well hello Andrew..... thank you for sharing your hol with us,so moved by the pics and your wording of the killing fields. Makes you appreciate what we've got home here,i bet it has changed you, gives you a different perspective on what really matters.
Geoff been reading along with me so be prepared for a question and answer eve when you get back.
We all say Hi and will see you when you get home stay safe enjoy whats left.... love ju geoff carley and adam xxxx
Response: Hi all,

I read the books etc but it would take some hard emotionless person not to feel for those people when you are there. There weren't too many people there, maybe only about 20, most of them Cambodian. But nobody talked, but everyone had a tear.

Thanks for following my progess. Love to you all. x
From George
Andrew babe, Finally got around to catching up on your progress. I always thought your experiences would be something to write home about,but they are more than that. You are doing things that everyone should try and enjoying it. Keep safe and I trust that you reach these sures safely and without incident. I will keep watching your progress.
Regards, George
Response: "Hay Baby"

Your right George. I think if everyone came to Cambodia, there'd be a lot less hatred in the world.
I'm nominating a few world leaders to do the backpacking thing for a couple of weeks.Think that should start it off quite well!

Good to hear from you.Andrew
From Jessie , carrie ,chr
HI Andrew,

Cannot believe the amount of things you have experienced in just one week! sounds like you will come back a different person!! shame you have to come back so soon - Grow the beard and take that career break - life is to precious and short not too!!!! think the journal is brilliant, keep enjoying ;-) Chris says New york this year, Phnom Penh next year!!
take care as always

love Jessie
Response: Thanks Jessie,

You know, I should have listened to you years ago.
Why do I keep saying that?
But hay! Never too late right?
You know what I'm like, but I've challenged a lot of things this week. Coupled with that some of the things I've seen and it really makes you take stock of your life.
And there you go again, how did you know I had grown a beard?
Spooky!

Chris, You will love N.Y.C and it will give you a tasting to checkout other places. But for a fun city and a single man like you, "Man, I'd be on the next flight to Bangkok".

Carrie, moving onto Vietnam tomorrow so your books already out my bag. But reading how much the place has to offer, my few days aren't going to touch the sides so I'm thinking where do I start my next global adventure from?

Take care guys and keep in touch. Love Andrew. X
From Sue Harley
Andrew
Good to hear that you're having such an amazing trip. Your diary and photos are really interesting. Martin knows something of the Khmer Rouge atrocities - he asks if you would do something for him if you get the chance...deposit something unpleasant on Pol Pot's grave (if you stumble across it)!!
Enjoy the rest of your exploring. Take care - Sue
Response: You tell Martin that I'll do that for sure.
Glad your enjoying the site as much as I am writing it.
Thanks Sue. Andrew. X
From Pam
Hi Andrew,I just read up on a past 'issue' (Tesco speak) of one of your days or was it a night out?? And I cannot believe that you crunched your way through a crispy beetle and a grasshopper, well our canteen food will be a delight after that, or could it be that the beetle and the grasshopper would be better eating than what they are serving up these days! Dont answer that because you are missng NOTHING!!

Chat with you soon, and think of me tomorrow in the wonderful company of Bob and Lorraine....together........aargh!

Pam x

Response: Hi Pam,
You know, I shouldn't say this, but the grasshopper had flavour and the beatle had texture. Maybe I should get the recipe and bring it back for Mark 'cos it sure as hell tasted a lot better than some of that stuff!
X
From carol
Hi Andrew, We cant believe you are able to put so much into one day,you will need a rest when you come home at that rate.Bridget was right, I was relieved to know you were'nt alone in the jungle! ! ! But as Gordon said ,if you were and you met a monkey you would baffle him with science and make him talk to you.You must be going frantic, a bag of dirty clothes, no washing machine, no ironing,thats not you Andrew,and above all no candles..nice though is'nt it.You have had loads of letters,you must be thrilled, did you expect so many?We have been watching rugby, and I bet Gordon £10 ..and lost, I am convincing him it was a sportsmans bet.Thats all for now, Take Care, Much Love Mum, Gordon, and Big Al x x x x
Response: Hi Mum,
I've given up on the clean part now. Whats the point of worrying over here. Although I was off my head the last 2 days up north. I'd run out of deodrant and shower gel and couldn't find any. I no longer knew which clothes are clean and which clothes are dirty so the "Scratch ' n ' Sniff" method had to be used.
Managed to get smellies yesterday in the arket and yet more T-shirts this morning.
But I will try to stay in the same hotel when I travel to Vietnam tomorrow so that can wash the bloody lot for me. I need to be looking good for when I head back to Bangkok.

Can't believe you even bothered betteing against Gordon, you know he's going to win. No such thing as a sportsmans bet, pay up!

I never ever expected so many massages. I am completely made up.

Byeeeeeee!
From Dad and Sally
very interesting reading about life over there.Like the photo with your name on it,reminds me standing at Alicante airport waiting for pxs.enjoy yourself and take care
Response: Thanx Dad!