Our second guest post for FamiliesGo! is called Siem Reap with a Toddler: Beyond the Temples. Even after ten nights in Siem Reap, we had trouble saying good-bye. Cambodia is a beautiful country with lovely, friendly, and welcoming people. We encourage everyone to visit, and hope this post helps with some of the logistics, especially if you’re bringing a child. If you enjoy the post or find it helpful, please “like” or tweet it. Thank you!
The dashboard digital clock on our rental Volkswagen Polo showed 12:05 a.m. as we exited the mountain-pass tunnel in rural Iceland. The stars lit up the midnight-blue sky and the snowcapped mountain peaks loomed off to the west, our left. We were looking for the Northern Lights and had already been driving around for the past several hours, so far to no avail.
Ducking low-hanging baskets and dodging rushing men pushing carts overflowing with wholesale goods, a multitude of smells and stenches came at us from every direction; merchants barked sale orders over SIM-card fuelled cellphones; and the bright colors of a wide array of products for sale leaped out from their dimly-lit stalls.
Christmas is big in Vietnam.
One of the many pleasures of Hanoi is waking up at 5 a.m., walking (or running) to Hoan Kiem Lake, and seeing the city come alive—with hundreds of people of all ages, but more in the 60-80 year-old range, exercising together. (The average age seems to drop later in the morning, with more people in their 20s and 30s exercising by 6:30 or so.) Seeing so many people come together before dawn to move around and stay healthy and limber is an incredible and inspiring sight.
What is Lao cuisine? I arrived in Laos knowing next to nothing about it, and was eager to learn more. As a first step, I signed up for a one-day cooking school in Luang Prabang, highly regarded and once visited by Gourmet’s Ruth Reichl for her television series.
“See you next time when it’s drier.” That was the message we received from Poom, a Bangkok resident and family friend who had graciously agreed to host us, gently telling us that—in the face of Bangkok’s “worst floods in fifty years”—it probably wasn’t the best time to come for a visit.
The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Crossing through the Main Gateway and approaching the Taj on foot (Jude in backpack), we gazed up at the magnificent palace—resplendent in the North-Indian sunshine, a shining white beacon visible from miles around, the crowning achievement of the Mughal Empire—and it was easy to see how it made the list.