Travel Highlights: 6 weeks through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam

As the year draws to a close and travels for next year are planned, it is time to recapitulate. My year was exciting, diverse and very special. Besides many travels in Germany and Europe I also went to Southeast Asia for 6 weeks.

I spent 3 weeks in Thailand, one week in Cambodia and two weeks in Vietnam. I take you now on a small review in the context of the photo parade of .

Photo Highlights: Across Thailand

Ko Samui – the coconut island

ko Samui thailand

Thailand and the religious culture has fascinated me for a long time. On Ko Samui I visited a lot of temples and I did not miss the opportunity to be blessed by the monks there. By the way this is a really important aspect for me. I try to support the local culture on my travels and at such a blessing you always donate something to the temple and the community.

thailand ko samui

By the way, did you know that Ko Samui is also called the coconut island?? On Ko Samui grow many coconut palms. The coconuts are either sold, directly processed into oil or turned into handicrafts.

thailand ko samui

On the road with the scooter. This is what freedom means to me when I travel. In Thailand I always rent a scooter and can't wait to take part in the local life. I don't like to take a cab, because most of the time you can discover some great places off the beaten track by scooter.

By the way, I also found a great cooking course with the scooter on Ko Samui. The article is available here:

thailand ko samui

The Secret Buddha Garden on Ko Samui is a gem. In the mountains and not to reach without effort you find this small idyll, which is privately run. Hundreds of sculptures stand in the forest, through which also a small river meanders.

thailand ko samui

Beach and relaxation are of course not neglected on Ko Samui. My favorite beach was Silver Beach or Thongtakian Bay. A small bay between Chanweng and Lamai not far from Elephant Rock. Here it can be held out in the turquoise water particularly well.

Mae Klong – the famous Railway Market

mae klong railway market thailand

Many know the Mae Klong Railway Market from pictures or videos. Directly at the rails of the railroad line the market vendors sell their goods. From fresh fish to cooked food. But if you think that all this is already spectacular I have to prove you wrong.

About six times a day a train passes by here. Then it is quickly packed and at least as quickly unpacked again. business as usual.

Ayutthaya – the old capital

thailand Ayutthaya Temple

the old capital Ayutthaya is a jewel for culture lovers. In the historical park there are many old temples, some of which are only ruins, as well as active temples. Here you can dive a little bit into the history of Thailand. Ayutthaya was the old capital of Siam and despite its decay has not lost the splendor of its past years.

thailand Ayutthaya night market

Ayutthaya is not only worth seeing in the daytime. Due to the many day tourists from Bangkok it is amazingly quiet here in the evening. At Pasak River there is a night market every evening. In fact I hardly meet any tourists here, only locals. There the food at the stalls is even more fun.

Chanthaburi – unknown and untouristy

thailand Chanthaburi old town

Chanthaburi was also not on my radar during my first trips to Thailand. Somehow the small charming town slipped on my round trip itinerary. Chanthaburi has a lot of street art, few tourists and its own warm atmosphere. Perfect for anyone who wants to experience authentic Thailand.

thailand Chanthaburi old town

The Chanthaboon community on the waterfront has received the UNESCO World Heritage Award. Directly at the water is an old world. The houses and stores along the narrow lane are partly over 100 years old and have never lost their charm. Because quite the opposite is the case: the culture here on this small strip is cultivated and is the flagship of the city.

thailand Chanthaburi namtok phlio

National parks and nature are abundant around Chanthaburi. A must is the Namtok Phlio National Park which is home to a great circular walk and preserved nature as well as a large waterfall. Here hiking is especially easy, because the way to the national park and waterfall is asphalted.

Khao Lak – between sunsets and palm trees

thailand Khao Lak beach

thailand Khao Lak cooking course

The sunsets and beaches in Khao Lak are unique and breathtaking. The tsunami-hit region in the south of Thailand is a little jewel and fascinated me directly. I was in the region for just under a week and have summarized my experiences here:

Learning to cook is one of the most important things for me when traveling. I always do cooking classes and participate in food tours. Also in Khao Lak I swung the wooden spoon and prepared three delicious dishes. I have already blogged the first recipe, Som Tam:

Phang Nga – rugged natural paradise

thailand Phang Nga bay

thailand Phang Nga bay James Bond island

Rugged and breathtaking island await you in Phang Nga Bay. Besides nature, the wildlife here is also very distinctive. These little monkeys welcomed me and were very trusting. Generally Thailand is in country for nature lovers. Here also always applies: Just look, do not touch. Elephant rides should be avoided and boycotted by everyone. If you want to read more about this topic, have a look .

The one on the picture is Khao Phing Kan also called James Bond Island. Located in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, the tiny island with the striking rock is THE destination of every tourist. Of course, many souvenir dealers have settled here and the atmosphere is not quite so nice. But from far away Khao Phing Kan is a real feast for the eyes.

Cambodia – between ruins and fascination

Angkor Archaeological Park ta prohm

Ta Prohm is next to Angkor Wat one of the most famous temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap. The movie "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" has brought a little fame to the temple. The imposing strangler fig trees have completely taken over the stone complex for themselves. Ta Prohm is partially restored, though work is still being done on the site.

Angkor Archaeological Park Bayon Temple

The Bayon Temple looks relatively unspectacular from a distance. On closer inspection, however, the Bayon has something mystical. The many Buddha heads on the towers and pillars are especially unique. The temple is located in Angkor Thom, the old capital, that's why it is usually crowded here. Best to come at lunchtime.

Angkor Archaeological Park Angkor Wat Temple

The atmosphere in the main temple Angkor Wat in Angkor Archaeological Park is difficult to describe. My visit took place on Pchum Ben, the highest holiday in Cambodia. Therefore many locals were here. Angkor Wat is beautiful and unique, no question about it. However, I prefer the smaller and more hidden temples.

Beng Mealea Siem Reap Temple

This is one temple that is exactly to my taste. It is no longer part of the Angkor Archaeological Park and can be visited without the expensive ticket. The entrance fee is only a few dollars. The temple Beng Mealea was only rediscovered in the jungle in 1993 and since then mines were cleared. Tourism is not pronounced, because the temple is located about 70 kilometers from Siem Reap.

Across Vietnam – Hanoi, Da Nang and Hoi An

Hanoi – traffic and charm

vietnam Hanoi old town

How crazy is Hanoi? Motorcyclists race past me, sometimes the seats are triple occupied. Madness and in the middle of it all there are markets, street vendors and the most different cookshops. I would sum it up as love at first sight, because the Old Quarter of Hanoi captivated me.

vietnam Hanoi ho chi Minh Mausoleum

Hanoi is a great city for exploring on foot. I walked here for kilometers and discovered new corners again and again. Around the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh patriotism is the order of the day. The Vietnamese make a pilgrimage here and everything looks like it was made from scratch.

vietnam Hanoi old quarter

Hanoi has surprised me with its variety again and again. At the railroad line, which leads through the city, there is a lot of street art. But this is not all as hip as you imagine, because on the roadside is well bourgeois eaten, played cards and drunk beer. Fast food chains and shopping paradises are not to be found in this corner.

vietnam hanoi train street

Train Street is one of the most famous streets in Hanoi, because a train still runs through the canyon of houses here. On the right and left there are small cafes and restaurants. But beware: It is not quiet here and all the selfie tourists can be a bit annoying.

Da Nang – the colorful city by the sea

vietnam da Nang

My visit to Da Nang was more coincidence than plan. Because actually I wanted to decide spontaneously where to go in Vietnam. However, the airport staff gave me a hard time about my visa. A return ticket was needed – and that was then Da Nang. By the way for me a city of lights.

vietnam da Nang

vietnam da nang hai van pass

A bridge that spits fire? Are there in Da Nang. The Dragon Bridge is the highlight of the city. Here is a lot of action on weekends. Then the bridge spits water and fire and becomes the photo spot of the city. Next door there is a decent nightmarket with lots of seafood and fruits.

vietnam da Nang Hai Van pass

That Da Nang is located directly at the sea, you notice immediately. Many and especially long beaches attract the sun hungry tourists here. Especially beautiful is the area in the south at the Song Cu Đe Delta. Deserted beaches and hardly any tourism!

A must in Da Nang is to drive the Hai Van Pass, which leads from Da Nang to Hue. Once the most dangerous road in the world, now defused by a tunnel. But beware, the weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. But you are definitely rewarded with great views.

Hoi An – retro charm and culture

Hoi An is the cultural paradise in central Vietnam. At least that's how it is marketed in the media. Somehow the city is also beautiful and the many alleys and lanterns are delightful, however, here with the visitors is made also neat Reibach. The entrance to the city center, which is actually only plastered with souvenir stores, costs just under 4€. The colonial houses were nice to look at but Hoi An did not meet my expectations to the full extent.

My favorite picture from 2019

vietnam Hanoi

Oops, I don't always travel alone after all! My favorite picture from my travel year 2019 reveals then but the one who takes the most photos of me. Sweaty, clumsy and just happy. Because also I am almost never 100% styled up.

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