India was one of our most challenging and most rewarding stops. We saw the heights of art and architecture and the depths of poverty and despair. We were sweet-talked and hustled, greeted graciously and treated with kindness. We were thrilled, frustrated, over-stimulated, exhausted, energized, thankful and sad, often in the same day. India will touch you, one way or another, in ways you can’t imagine until you’ve been there. We spent our five weeks exclusively in the north, taking our time, but still covering a lot of ground. We did the full Rajasthan circuit, substituting a couple of less-traveled spots for those we heard were over-saturated. Outside Rajasthan, we visited Varanasi and Khajuraho, New Delhi, and Agra (Taj Mahal).
From the Mekong Delta in the south to the mountains in the north, from the urban hubs of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to world-famous Halong Bay, Vietnam is a country of diversity. Go prepared to bargain and use your street smarts, especially in the cities. Keep and open mind, and don’t shy away from the chance to sit on a plastic mini stool and eat some amazing food or take a ride on a motorbike! Gorgeous landscapes will surround you, and a new adventure is around every corner.
Cambodia’s recent history gives plenty of cause for sadness, but its people’s smiles are our dearest memory of the beautiful country. This breakdown of our expenses while visiting in November, 2011 is less skewed than some others because we did not redeem any points for flights or hotels during our time here. We traveled by boat, bicycle, tuk tuk, van and bus, and were able to get to a few less-visited spots. There are still many left to explore on a future visit. Posts on Cambodia can be viewed HERE. Our photo gallery from Cambodia is HERE.