I will be doing a summary of my impressions and feelings about each country.


   Cambodia had more to offer than I expected, I'm not sure what I did expect but again I was blown away by the scenery. Sihanoukville was just so beautiful, the islands offering a tropical paradise that I never would have expected from Cambodia. This country has such a sad, bloody history that I didn't really know anything about before coming here. It amazing to see how the people are bouncing back from it and capitalizing on the tourism. It does have a long way to go compared to its neighbours. A lot of infrastructure is missing such as garbage disposal. Hopefully the Khmer people are starting to learn about waste disposal and other environmental factors.
   One of the biggest differences I noticed between Vietnam and Cambodia was the begging. I don't recall seeing beggars in Vietnam, I'm sure there were but they didn't stick out in my mind. There were everywhere in Cambodia; on the streets in Phnom Penh and Siam Reap as well as on the beaches in Sihanoukville. Most were unfortunately amputees, probably a result of the Khmer Rouge. Apparently Cambodia doesn't have much in the way of assistance for these people so they are reduced to begging. The other major difference I noticed was the number of children trying to sell you stuff. In Vietnam there were tons of people trying to sell you crap but they were all adults. In Cambodia you had children trying to sell you bracelets and books. Buying for the children is probably one of the worst things you could do because reenforces child labour and keeps the kids out of school.
   The people we met were very nice. We talked a bunch with a local guy in Sihanoukville. Most everyone had some English but using American dollars was kind of weird. We enjoyed our time in Cambodia. The temples of Angkor were stunning, the Irrawaddy dolphins a pleasure to see, and learning to dive in such a chill environment couldn't have been better. Over all Cambodia was lovely, we spent about 2.5 weeks but I couldn't see myself spending much more time there. It will be interesting to see the progress this country makes over the next 5 years.


  Vietnam was incredible! I didn't really know what to expect but it was better than I could have imagined. The landscapes are so diverse. In 4 weeks we saw mountains, limestone peaks, bustling cities, beautiful beaches, incredible sand dunes, busy rivers, amazing waterfalls, and so much more. I had no idea Vietnam had so much to offer. This is definitely a country to come back to!
  I already knew I loved Vietnamese food but I didn't necessarily know what it was (in Vietnamese) that I loved. My favourite culinary experience was in Hue where we were taken to a local restaurant and served Bun Thit Nuong, grilled pork with vermicelli noodles, and fresh shrimp spring rolls. It was super cheap too. Whenever we found bun thut nuong I ordered it. We ate a lot of Pho Bo, beef noodle soup, for breakfast which is very good although sometimes it does get served with jellied beef blood. I tried it and it taste like you think it would so not so good. We had amazing seafood in Mui Ne at little beach side restaurants that pop up when the sun sets. I don't think we had any bad food experiences beside the ants in the rice. I'm definitely going to dabble in making Vietnamese food in the future.
  Overall the Vietnamese people were very nice. We had some great conversations with our Sapa guide and with different people at a bar in Hue. The street vendors took it in stride when you told them no thank you for whatever they were selling. It was irritating at times when you have turned down cigarettes, lighters, marijuana, post cards, jewelry, ponchos, umbrellas, books while trying to eat your dinner. Sapa was especially bad for the minority women trying to sell you their wares. They start with asking you questions and then say you buy somethings. When you say no they say you by something for friends. You just want to yell “I don't want to buy your crap” obviously you don't do this but the urge is very strong sometimes. At the same time these people are very poor and are just trying to make a living. Besides all the street hawkers the motorcycle drivers are very annoying too. Every step you take someone asks if you want motorbike, I think they think its odd for people to walk if they can afford to not.
  I would love to come back to Vietnam in the future. I would definitely return to Hoi An and Da Lat, both were beautiful. It'll be interesting to see how Vietnam develops in the future. My main recommendation is to know/learn how to drive a motorcycle. Our favourite way to get around was to rent a motorcycle. It was very cheap and you weren't tied to some guides schedule. It made life a lot easier. Just don't be driving around in the big cities.


  China has been an interesting experience. This country has much to offer with many beautiful landscapes and amazing historical sites. There have been a lot of Chinese tourists at the major historical sites. It's great that the Chinese are getting a chance to explore their own countries but I can't help but curse the tour bus swarms. The people here are interesting. Many have been very helpful, many don't understand English. It's been difficult at times to communicate but frequently someone has stepped up to help. At times you see some pretty gross things. Loads of people picking their nose, tons of people hawking and spitting everywhere. The children can be interesting as many wear crotchless pants with no diapers. The kids will pee in the street or wherever, including the subway. There is never toilet paper or soap in the bathrooms. I wonder if people carry it around with them at all times; seems odd. Smoking is an irritant here. Many place are non-smoking but no one pays attention to the signs. We were in a non-smoking restaurant and a guy at the next table was smoking. He just flicked his ash on the floor and dropped his butts there too. The waitress didn't say anything to him either. It's a wonder they even bother with no smoking areas when no one pays any attention.
  There is constant building going on. Every city has multiple cranes building high rises. Many are in the centre of the city which makes you wonder what they tore down to build these new monstrosities. It's amazing to think all these buildings are in demand or perhaps they are building them to create more affordable housing.
I can honestly admit I'm not a big Chinese food fan. Many dishes tend to be greasy, the cooking oil used by street vendors stinks. Language has been one of our main issues when ordering food as we don't recognize any of he characters except beef. Chicken dishes tend to have bone and cartilage in them. Maybe I wasn't trying the right things but I haven't been wowed by any of the food I've eaten.
  China has been an amazing experience and we only have grazed the surface of what this country has to offer. There is a definite possibility a of future trip to China to take in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tibet as well as some of the other scenic destinations.