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Azamara Quest Blog #3 from Bangkok

By:
Ben Hall
 

This is a wrap up of the first two destinations on this cruise - Bangkok and the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville. With three full days in Bangkok we took a private tour on one of those days with a company called Amazing Bangkok Cyclist (www.realasia.net) which ran a six hour cycling tour of the backstreets of the Thai capital. This is one of the most amazing ways to experience the real street life of Bangkok with routes that take you away from the tourist areas, and into some of the locals' markets. The back streets are safe to ride around in and the highlight was the longtail boat ride over to one of the floating markets aren't often mentioned in tourist guides. We rode on the elevated concrete walkways to get to Bhang Nam Pueng Market which is a really pretty place and very local. This is not the type of place you can easily find on your own and this is one of the best experiences I've had in Bangkok - very authentic with a bit of exercise thrown in and our guide was the manager Michael Hoes who's very passionate and knowledgable about the "unknown" parts of Bangkok. (We'll do a full feature on this tour in the coming months).

After a sea day it was then into Sihanoukville and we opted for a ship's tour of the city and local area and it was a fascinating snapshot into Cambodian life. First stop was at the city's main temple, and then to Serendipity Beach which is a pretty stretch lined with bars and restaurants and a real favourite with foreign tourists. Then it was onto the Central Market which is nearly one square kilometre of the most amazing produce and sights, sounds and smells and the final stop was the highlight of the day. It was at the stilted Fishing Village which gave a real insight into how working Cambodians live. The kids were hilarious and were intrigued as to why a bunch of western tourists were wandering around their area. Anyway, about to travel up the Saigon River to dock in Ho Chi Minh City.

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