One of the hardest things about visiting Cambodia is witnessing the extreme levels of poverty that abound; from kids selling postcards at Angkor Wat to land-mine victims begging on the city streets. One of the best ways to help people in Cambodia is by eating in Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) restaurants which support and employ vulnerable groups of people throughout the country.  Good Cause Dining is an all round win-win, your money and custom go to those who need it and you get a tasty meal in the process.

Battambang ended up being one of those places we couldn’t seem to leave. At first glance, the town doesn’t have much to offer save for a ride on the famous bamboo train, but we had some of our most memorable Cambodian experiences venturing out into the surrounding countryside and catching a breath-taking circus performance. I felt we really caught a glimpse of ‘true’ Cambodia during our stay in Battambang.

Sometimes the part of travel I love the most is just the movement. It’s getting up in the morning, packing our bags and boarding a bus to a brand new, unknown destination with no idea what’s in store for us. This particular morning in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I was bunged-up with a cold and my head pounded as I climbed aboard the bus to the tiny, riverside town of Kampot.
Baby John-William was safely tucked inside his mother’s womb when the typhoon that killed his father hit their home in Tacloban six months ago. The day before the storm, locals say that the skies had been beautiful and clear; despite warnings to evacuate it seemed inconceivable that far out at sea the most powerful typhoon ever to hit land was brewing. In the early hours of the 8th November, Typhoon Haiyan - or Yolanda as she’s known to Filipinos - cut a deadly path towards the small island of Leyte and the house by the sea where John-William’s family were sleeping.
This first phase of our adventure is hurtling towards closure at an alarming speed. Our trip back to the UK in June signals an end to this initial 15 months of travel and with that end looms the knowledge that we need to start working in the autumn. What lies ahead is a scary, uncertain path – the only thing we know for sure is that on the 21st August we will board a plane back to Hanoi, Vietnam.
It is the faces that haunt me; the faces in the rows of black and white photographs hung throughout S21 prison. Almost all the people in those pictures, whether young or old, male or female, were tortured and starved in the prison before being sent to the killing fields to be executed. I was horribly mesmerised by those faces and their expressions; while some people wore their terror so visibly, others looked merely stunned, or angry and defiant - many were simply blank and devoid of emotion. I am haunted by the thought of what happened to those people; did they know when those pictures were taken that they’d been sentenced to death?
With a final, gurgling burst of smoke, our bus gave up its battle for survival and collapsed by the side of the road. As the engine cut off, the air-con died and the heat immediately began to thicken. If we didn’t get off now we’d be cooked. Huffing and puffing,  I filed out into the harsh glare of sunlight onto a barren, dusty stretch of road to wait for a replacement bus. This was the second day in a row that we’d experienced a breakdown and I was well and truly fed up. What happened next, however, unexpectedly turned my mood around and reminded me of just why I love Cambodia.
We ended our travels in 2013 with a one-month trip to Vietnam. Our journey started in the north of the country, where we discovered our favourite Asian city, Hanoi. During our week-long stay there we spent day after day in museums, palaces and temples and took an overnight boat trip in the beautiful-yet-crowded Halong Bay. We then headed south on the train to Hué to see ancient tombs and the old Citadel, continuing on from there to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage City which wasn't quite as nice as Laos’ Luang Prabang.
After Laos we jetted into Hanoi, Vietnam to spend a month travelling from the capital city in the north down to Ho Chi Minh City in the South. We made plenty of stops along the way, visiting historic Hué, the World Heritage Town of Hoi An, the sand dunes of Mũi Né and the highlands. During our trip we also spent our first festive season out of the UK, celebrating Christmas in the mountains of Dalat and New Year’s in crazy Saigon. Here’s how much it cost us to travel in Vietnam for one month.
Although Vietnam isn’t quite as well travelled as some South-East Asian countries it still has a decent transport network. Throughout our month in Vietnam we travelled from Hanoi in the north all the way down the coast to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) before heading into Cambodia. While the clean fast trains were a joy to use, most of our bus journeys were typical of Asia - pretty hellish. If you’re planning to travel to Vietnam, check out our tips on how to get around the country.