River Cruising Along the Mekong in Vietnam & Cambodia
A few years ago, we went on land/river cruise trip throughVietnamandCambodia. We had an amazing time seeing these two countries. There is so much history and culture. Some of the history is hard to take in, especially visiting sites like The Killing Fields and the “Hotel Hanoi” where American POW’s were held during the Vietnam War. Seeing these places in person though is an eye-opening experience. It was sad because so much of the Cambodian history is unknown to many people. But meeting the amazing, resilient people who can always find a reason to smile was so amazing. We also enjoyed seeing the hustle and bustle in Hanoi and Phnom Penh.
This was our first time ever in Asia, and we definitely cannot wait to go back! Our trip was with Viking River Cruises and we had the best guides ever who made the trip even more enjoyable. Here is everything we did and saw during our two weeks in Vietnam & Cambodia. Enjoy!
Off We Go…
First we did a lot of flying. A lot. Sarasota to Chicago. Chicago O’Hare to Seoul, South Korea. Seoul to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City, Vietnam. It was about 20 hours of flying. Luckily Korean Air is spectacular and it reminded us again of how terrible it is to fly domestic! We just love the feeling of getting on a plane and then being halfway around the world. Anyone who has traveled internationally understands that amazing feeling.
Bloggers Share Breathtaking Places From Around the World
While there are many beautiful places around the world, sometimes you visit a place that really takes your breath away. Without further ado, here are some of those breathtaking places. Thank you to all of the bloggers who participated!
Giza, Egypt from The Traveling Gals: “Seeing the Pyramids and Sphinx in person was an amazing experience we will never forget!”
Bora Bora – Toniya from The Travelling Panda: “Our trip to Bora Bora was something that completely took our breath away. The beauty of this small gem in such a vast ocean is just indescribable.”
Neuchwanstein, Bavaria – Amy from Sass and Shamrocks: “It may be over done but Schloss Neuchwanstein in Southern Bavaria took my breath away. Whether under a blanket of snow in Winter, the bright sun of Summer or in the stunning colors of Autumn the castle is surreal and utterly fairy tale like!”
While on a walk through Bayfront Park, I noticed a plaque recognizing Sarasota’s sister cities with a Ceremonial Tree Walk on March 17, 2003. Sarasota has 8 sister cities! The placard whose mission and objective reads “To Foster Peace and Understanding and to Develop Respect and Cooperation through Citizen Diplomacy” piqued my curiosity.
The Sister city program was developed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. His vision was to promote citizen diplomacy after having seen the severe hatred and after-effects of World War II. Sarasota got involved early on in 1963 by pairing up with its first sister city, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This was part and parcel due to the local Hispanic heritage. Visits began and to commemorate the exchange to this day there is an Avenida Sarasota in Santo Domingo and the Plaza de Santo Domingo is located next Sarasota’s Municipal Auditorium. A relationship was maintained through the 1980s when Santo Domingo decided to partner with Miami and New York City instead. Sarasota declared them to have emeritus status and moved on over the years to its current 8 sisters.
One of the best parts of taking a vacation is stepping out of your everyday routine. For most of us, working out while on vacation is probably the last thing on your mind. Even though you know you should, you really don’t want to. For me, I work out extra hard and extra long the entire week leading up to going out of town. This helps give me the boost I need to not have to maintain my early morning regimen while I’m away. However, I still want to fit into my bathing suit, so I try to stay as active as possible while having a great time! Check out some of these suggestions to stay active with having to “work out”:
This is a follow-up to our Top 3 Must-Do’s in Sarasota post! There are so many great things to do in this small city on the Suncoast. After you’ve hit the main areas in Sarasota, you definitely have to check out these other great places in our beautiful city that we are lucky to now call home.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum is one of our favorite places to go in Sarasota. The museum features two great sections, the circus museums and the art museum. We wrote a post about what to see and do at Ringling because it is so great!
Marie Selby Gardens
Marie Selby Gardens are located on the bay, right near downtown Sarasota which makes for gorgeous views while you are walking around the grounds. Some of the highlights are the Conservatory which features an array of tropical plants, Bamboo Garden, Banyan Grove, and the Children’s Gardens. Check out their website for more information.
Anna Maria Island is actually about a 45 minute drive from Sarasota but is so worth it. This is a quant, charming area to walk around with excellent ocean views and no tall buildings or chain retailers allowed. You can even see the cruise ships departing from Tampa on certain evenings around sunset. Check out our post on how to make the most of your time in AMI!
Is It OK to Take Your Kids Out of School to Travel? Post by Kary This is a question hotly debated by parents all over the country. My answer to this question is YES! You should absolutely allow your child to miss school for travel. The only caveat being if they are truly struggling and… Read More
Dining Etiquette from Around the World Some of the biggest cultural faux-pas’ are made at the dinner table. Different cultures have different etiquettes and this handy infographic gives you the tips to make sure you are a gracious guest! Thank you to The Dunloe for providing us with this great guide! Again, thank you to The Dunloe… Read More
7 Best International Spring Flower Festivals Today is the start of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! In honor of Epcot’s “unofficial” start to spring, check out these 7 places for blossoming spring flowers around the world: Hanami – Japan Cherry Blossoms The cherry blossom holds a very prominent position in Japanese culture. There… Read More
Towles Court Creative Arts Community Tucked away amongst the moss-draped oak trees in the Laurel Park neighborhood of downtown Sarasota is the Towles Court Creative Arts Community. In 1905 Sarasota’s first Mayor built his home in this area along with a nine-hole golf course. In the 1920’s William Towles turned the golf course into a… Read More
14 Romantic Destinations to Visit It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means lots of pictures of flowers on Facebook. Even if you don’t have a significant other, these destinations are still great to visit with friends, family, or even for a relaxing solo trip! We personally would love if someone handed us a plane ticket (and their… Read More