After a really noisy train ride, we finally arrived in Phong Nah. We checked in to the first hotel we could find and fell a sleep to the sound of live music.

We got up at 7 the next morning to do the National Park Tour in Phong Nah. We didn't really know what to expect but we certainly weren't expecting to be as amazed as we were.

The tour guides picked us up with mini vans and drove us through the old city of Phong Nah, talking about how the area was badly affected by Malaria and lost a lot of lives. Phong Nah was one of the most sabotaged places during the war.

We arrived at a beautiful look-out point with amazing mountains looking over us. The rain and fog made it really dramatic.
The road that we were standing on took 4 months to build and during the war people volunteered to work on the road, although they were only provided with 2 days worth of supplies because they were'nt expected to live longer than that. The bombs were dropped every 8 minutes. The people used to hide in the caves to shelter from the bombs.

After stopping at a temple for a bit, our next stop was The Dark Cave. We were definitely in for an adventure!
We got our cozzies on and put all our gear on. I felt as if I was going to do a huge mountain climb because if the gear we put on. Haha.
The next goal was to climb up the stair of a little tower and take a zip-line across the water to the other side. My heart skipped a few beats during the seconds before since i'm afraid of heights. But I managed to do it with out fainting and it was so much fun.

We swam in to an amazing, huge cave that was only lit by the torches from our helmets. We walked and swam through mud. Literally mud. It was really weird but really fun. We must of been in there for over an hour. It was such an experience! On our way back through the cave, we turned our torches off and swam in the dark.
By the end of the cave, we jump on a kayak and paddled our way to the other side. Although it didn't go too well for us girls. We couldn't really control our steering very well. Haha. Luckily someone stood for the entertainment ;-)
For the final ending we took an other zip-line were we had to let go and jump into the water. That gave us a good laugh. Haha.

After a huge lunch (haven't had that much food for ages) we drove to the Paradise Cave. I think we walked up a million steps to get to the cave. But it was so worth it.
It was absolutely stunning. We had the whole cave to ourselves and walked for about a kilometer. It was so peaceful in there. Loved it.
It was an amazing day.

We also had a great night at the backpacker hostel while we were waiting for our night bus.
It was way to soon to leave but we had to. It's weird how you can connect with someone after a couple of hours and feel as if you've known them for so long.
Anyway, I guess goodbyes are a part of the experience.

I slept through out the whole 12 hours bus trip.
We are now having breakfast in Hanoi getting ready to face another day :-)

I haven't got any pictures from the dark cave right now :-(

























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The best part about backpacking is meeting all these cool people doing the same thing as you and you always know that you have one thing in common. Our love for traveling. It's quite amazing actually.
The w
orst part about backpacking is saying goodbye. Every time you say a hello, you know there's always a goodbye.
I'm not really dealing that well with goodbyes i feel... Haha.

So we said goodbye to our aussies and spent the day bicycling in the poring rain. We were absolutely drenched in rain! Luckily we got pink and yellow ponchos.
We had a look at the markets and got some stuff and waxed our arm pits ;-)

We got back to the hotel and once again met knew people. This place is surrounded by Brits and Aussies! But i like it :-)
So we played some afternoon pool and had some dinner together and then we sat up all night talking and playing cards.
And since it's become a tradition to always throw ourselves in the water with clothes on by the end of every night, we did.
I have so many clothes that never dries because of our night swims!

Today we've packed all our things and we're catching the train to Phong Nah to see some cool caves! It's a long trip but I think it's going to be worth it cause we've heard really good things about it!

I'm excited.
I think i'm getting pretty good at this backpacking stuff ;-)

























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Last night we had dinner at the hotel and played cards and drank really cheep beer.
In heard someone speaking Australian so ofc we started talking. Always get happy when i meet ozzies ;-) So we had some drinks with the 4 ozzie guys and then we took motorbikes in to town.

We stayed at a bar for a couple of hours and had a good time! Met a lot of nice people, danced and played pool.

So, the walk home was a bit of a mess. We went home earlier than the guys and stupidly decided to walk home instead of taking a taxi. 20 min into our walk, we saw the guys drive past us on the motorbike taxis and a few seconds later they had sent a motorbike to pick us up since it's not the best time of the day to walk as girls through the dark streets. Since the driver couldn't speak english, he had a hard time explaining that the guys already paid him to pick us up. He just said: free, free! And pointed for us to get on the back of his bike. We thought that was odd and scary so we said that we'd walk. Which was stupid. Cause we walked for ages and got completely lost.
Luckily a random guy on a motorbike picked us up and took us to the hotel. That was definitely a risky walk home in every way!

Today we got to ride on the back of the aussie guy's motorbikes. It was soooo nice with the fresh breeze from the wind and seeing the nice landscape from the back of the bike.
The guys are filming a documentary so i got to film the whole bike ride with their little camera.

We spent the day on the beach and tonight they are taking us out for dinner :-)

























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The bus ride wasn't as bad as we expected it to be. Luckily. But it was a lot longer than expected! The first 4 hours to Phom Phen were luxury! A nice bed to lay in, a few nice people and wifi. But that didn't last long as we had to change buses in the capital.
We got the most uncomfortable seats on the second bus. And I forgot my pillow on the other bus so I didn't get a lot of sleep.

After about 16 hours on the bus, we finally got to the Vietnamese border were we had to wait for another 2 hours for pass port control and security.
We arrived in Ho Chi Minh city early afternoon and checked out a little part of the city with our backpacks on our backs.
Ho Chi Minh is one of Vietnams biggest cities and it sure was bigger and more modern than Cambodias biggest city, Siem Reap! Traffic and people everywhere. A lot more tourists than Cambodia.

After our first meal in Vietnam, we took the taxi to the airport and flew to Hoi An.
We checked in to a little more "expensive" hotel than usual. We paid 3-4 dollars a night in Cambodia and here we pay 10 dollar a night. It's funny how quickly you become fussy with the money in such a cheap continent like this.
Any way, we deserve a clean room with air-con, i feel.

Today we rented bikes for about 1 dollar ... So cheap!! We bicycled through the city, down to the beach and spent the day there. Got some nice food and some nice color on our skin ^^

I must say that this place is a lot nicer that the places we saw in Cambodia. It's a lot more welcoming, I feel. A little bit more modern, cleaner, cheaper and nicer beaches! Hopefully it will grow on me even more.
Don't get me wrong though, I really enjoyed Cambodia too!

Tonight we're going out for the first time!
Let's see what Hoi An has to offer.
Party time!


























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It's already time for our first goodbyes. It's so tough everytime you meet good friends that you'll probably never see again.

We have had three awesome days at the coast. We've become good friends with some of the local guys that work at the bar near us and we've had some really good moments and laughs with them!

Yesterday we had a late night at the beach with some Canadian backpackers who we met. Watched the fire show, had a few beers and a nice swim.

Unfortunately the nice and calm days have past and we are now sitting with our bags waiting to get picked up. It's a full on storm here with thunder, lighting and rain. It's like a war zone.
The storm mixed with hard goodbyes does not make a good feeling. I think we have 11 rough hours ahead of us.
Luckily we have Vietnam to look forward to!
Just another part of our journey!























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Jeez, has this day been good?
Today, for the first time here, I feel truly happy and blessed to be here. The jet lag is gone, got a good nights sleep and got to have an awesome day and night!

We woke up (a little later than planed), took the tuk tuk to the Vietnamese embassy to get our visas. When we got there they told us that we wouldn't need one since we're not staying more than 15 days. Sweden is one out of 7 nationalities that can get in to Vietnam with out a visa. We're lucky that we have such a strong passport! So we saved 60$ which was a good start to the day.

After our breakfast at the beach, we spent the rest of the day in the water. The toughest thing we had to do today was getting up from the water!
I also met the nice lady that waxed my armpits yesterday. She told us her story and about her 12-year old daughter who is studying english and french. The lady is working so hard to pay for her daughters school everyday. I decided to give her one of my english books that her daughter can read. And some money ofc ;-)

I actually put my training clothes on today and went for a run during our siesta! It was really sweaty and really awesome! So nice to get my body going again.

We had dinner at the beach while watching a fire show. The boys are so talented!
We also got to know some of the guys and hung out with them the whole night.
Got free beer, danced until the sweat was dripping and after that me and Sandra decided to throw ourselves in the sea with our clothes on. Then we danced a little more.
We ended the evening by sending up a lucky balloon. That was definitely a moment to remember.

Our plan was to go to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam tomorrow but one of us got sick tonight so we have to wait and see tomorrow. We might have to wait until wednesday.

It's starting to feel real now. It's a good but slightly scary feeling. I'll grow from this everyday.















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Change of plans
We realized that we wouldn't stand another hot day without the sea so we changed our minds and decided to hit the south coast of Cambodia. Since we're living on a shoestring with a tight budget we decided to travel the cheapest way and take the 11-hour night bus.

The streets in Cambodia are in really bad condition and t would be to underestimate if I called it a bumpy ride. It was by far the bumpiest ride i've ever had. And the weirdest ...

They picked us up in a big tuck-tuck and took us to the big bus surrounded by travelers, mostly Chinese people ...
To be honest i didn't feel too comfortable at first when I saw that the seats where like weird beds, the bus had no windows and no toilet. And if you know me, you know that I use the toilet ALL THE TIME ... So I panicked haha. But didn't have much of a choice.
The bus started rolling and we had a good time and were pretty comfortable. Once I started falling asleep the bumpy ride began and I desperately needed to pee!
For some reason the bus stopped and I told the driver that I really needed a toilet. He pointed out into the bush and said RUN, HURRY!
So I ran out in my favorite, fluffy socks and found a bush to pee behind, hoping that I wouldn't step on a land mine or get kidnapped while peeing. But after a few seconds my concerns changed and I realized that they closed the doors to the bus. I panicked and didn't have time to finish my business in peace, pulled my pants up and ran. My gosh ... What if the bus left me there! I would never pee again! Haha.
I can honestly say that I saw every but in that bus and that we all peed together in the weirdest places ... I peed in someones front yard, on a card board box in the capital Phom Phen, on the road and behind the bus. Shucks.

But we survived and arrived in Sihanouk Ville at 6:30 in the morning, got a tuk tuk to the cheapest hotel near the beach and slept until 11 am.
We had a beautiful day at the beach. I waxed my armpits Cambodia style. It hurt really bad ... Haha. At least there's no hair there for a while!

We had a nice dinner on the beach followed by a mojito, fire show and some dancing!

Hoping to be able to fall a sleep tonight. The time difference has been taking away a lot of sleep from me.
Let's see what tomorrow has to bring.

























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The adrenaline is slowly decreasing and the jet lag is catching up with me. I'm now completely worn out, laying in a sofa on the balcony, under a fan, fighting to keep my eyes open. Luckily I bought my pink headphones!!

So, we found our own tuk-tuk driver this morning and we managed to get a "good price just for us" and he would be our driver for the whole day.

He took us through town and all the way to The temples of Angkor. Beautiful drive!

It was kind of overwhelming to try to understand what we were seeing. Beautiful temples built during the 10th century and probably didn't finish until a couple of centuries later! Amazing architecture, if you could call it that ... It feels like it was to surreal to be built by human hands.

We were very popular amongst the asians and they kept on laughing at us and wanting to have pictures taken with us. I was wondering why skin color is such a big deal ... Anyway, it was pretty hilarious!

After a good day and long day we really need to get out of the hot sun and lighten our heads a little with a siesta.

Tonight we're going out for a pub-crawl with all the backpackers!
Tomorrow we're leaving Siem Reap to take the bus to the capital of Cambodia, Phom Phen.

























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After 14 hours in the air, 24 hours of traveling and a few movies, we finally landed at the airport of Cambodia.
I forgot how warm the moisty air is here. I don't know if I like it but i'm sure i'll get used to it.
We were quickly surrounded by Cambodians who were desperately letting us know that they were more than happy to drive us to our hotel in their Tuk Tuks.

We finally came to our hotel, left our bags and hit the streets of Siem Reap. Funny how the culture is so different here. Children in need of food, adults in need of money and tourists running away telling them they have no money. Charming from the outside but pretty terrible when you think about it.
After some nice food and a little walk we fell asleep at 7:15 pm and slept until early morning.

Siem Reap in daylight is pretty different. People rushing around on their little motorbikes or tuk tuks, trying to get through the day, while me and Sandra walking around like confused tourists. Haha. The locals must be laughing at us in our pale skin and confused faces trying to cross the busy roads. It's actually really hard cause they have no pedestrians anywhere. But pretty funny.
A nice shake for breakfast, siesta and a nice lunch was needed before we packed our bags for a cheeper and more welcoming place to stay the night. We are now staying at the IVY guesthouse which is way cozier and waaay cheaper. Although there's no air-con so we're probably gonna be sweating tonight! May as well get used to it straight away.

Finally, we met up with Lenke! She did the whole trip on her own so we were relieved to see her!
We had a really nice evening the three of us. We went out for dinner and then we checked out the night market. Of course we got lost on the way home. Who could've guessed? ;-) BUT we saw a lot of nice streets that we hadn't seen before. Siem Reap sure is bigger at night time! Haha.

Second sleep tonight. I really can't believe that i'm here with my best friends and we're actually doing this. It's scary to think that we're traveling for 9 more weeks and anything could happen. At the same time i wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now.

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So, here I am lying in my bed after packing all my stuff. I can't believe it's been almost a year since me and my two best friends decided to go to South-East Asia. And now we have one more sleep until we're on the flight.

I will be writing about our backpacking trip on this blog and update you a few times a week so you can follow our journey.

You can also read about my bands Chile tour in 2013-2014 under "Race The Sunset" on my blog.

But for now I'm going to try to get some sleep so I get rid of my stupid cold for tomorrow. Getting up at 6 am, so excited!

See you soon! Xx



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