such a happy return

We're so happy to be returning to SE Asia -- and to these countries and cities, in particular. In Laos, Nong Khiaw and Luang Prabang; in Vietnam our beloved Hanoi; in Cambodia, Phnom Penh and Kep. It's a bit strange for us to make such a close repeat of a previous trip. When we went to Cambodia the last time, we were in Phnom Penh and Kep (and Siem Reap, not returning). In Laos, Luang Prabang (and Vientiane, not returning). And always Hanoi, this will be our third visit to that strangely beautiful and wonderful city.

The image in the masthead was taken on our last trip. It was taken on the bridge we walked over the Nam Khan every day from our hotel into Luang Prabang. Here is the post I wrote then, November 27, 2010, that includes our experiences with this bridge. The places we're going are rich in wats and temples, amazing food, incredible scenery, and the best part, such lovely people. It's so hard to wait until November 21!

in Phnom Penh, the wat next to our hotel

off the Cambodian coast

When we were in Phnom Penh last time, the Water Festival was just beginning and the city was filled with millions of people for that event. The day after we left Phnom Penh, at a concert during the festival there was a terrible accident on a bridge and 340 people were killed in the stampede. We'll miss the Water Festival this year so it'll be interesting to see what the city is like with millions-fewer people.

When we were in Laos last time, our camera battery died so we didn't get many photographs. This time I look forward to taking a lot of pictures so I can enjoy them later and so you can see just how astoundingly beautiful Laos is. It's one of my favorite countries in the world.

Tapping my foot and counting weeks, too soon to count days.

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