Today’s guest blogger is Celina Bledowska, a writer and journalist. Having written travel articles for Fleet Street and other mainstream media outlets, Celina adores seeing the world through the window of a train.
The rest of the world might be debating the global economy, climate change and other important matters but the real burning question that everyone appears to be missing is whether Cambodia is better than Vietnam.
Before even attempting to answer this urgent matter what exactly does ‘better’ mean. If you take one of the many quality escorted tours to Cambodia you will be left with the impression that Cambodia is the most amazing country on the planet, the same will apply to a similar experience in Vietnam.
Perhaps the best way to approach this vital issue is to check out what you’re really looking for. For example if you just want to chill out on beautiful beaches, sipping amazing cocktails and swimming in perfect azure waters then visit Phu Quoc island in the south of Vietnam. Of course some Australians might be a tad sniffy about beautiful beaches as they are spoilt for choice back home. But this place is still worth a visit. By the way, the Cambodians believe that Phu Quoc is part of their territory and should be called Ko Tral – just to confuse matters. Bai Sao is the best beach on the island. In fact those who enjoy beach exploring are spoilt for choice in Vietnam and this might be a splendid idea for a holiday try the Con Dao islands before the rest of the world discovers them.
Cambodia is no slouch when it comes to holiday idylls, the island of Koh Rong off the coast of Shanoukville is stunning, sometimes known as Monkey Island, this place is famous for its laid back atmosphere and tropical delights. Koh Kong Island, on the border with Thailand is also pretty impressive, though less unspoilt, those of you who enjoy a flutter may well want to take advantage of the casinos on the island but this is not as serene as other beach resorts in either Vietnam or Cambodia.
Cambodia is renowned for its plethora of UNESCO World Heritage sights including the famous Angkor Wat with its magnificent temples. Vietnam, though, can boast a whole town that has been given this prestigious award. The charming city of Hoi An, in the middle of the country has to be on every traveller’s itinerary. Try and visit this unspoilt place during one of their Moon Festivals when the electricity is switched off and the locals come out to praise the moon goddess and party. Whereas Angkor Watt can boast a ruined civilisation, Hoi An is a vibrant working town where everyday life continues midst buildings dating back to the fifteenth century.
Comparing countries is a little like playing poker. ‘I’ll raise you a temple’ and then the other players enter the fray with elephant treks, bustling nightlife and mysterious jungles. Both countries have indigenous peoples and many of the world’s most exotic species of animal live in both countries.
The most important aspects of travel are to keep your eyes open, relish the sights, mix with the locals and most importantly, enjoy yourself.
You can follow Celina on twitter: @celinabledowska