Such culture shock. We met all kinds of people who also felt the shock and funny enough most were doing the same route I was doing it seems that these two very different countries are a combo to travel with. I’d think Laos would have made a well-rounded trip but there is just too much to see and eat!!
Both countries are poor but people seem to be very resilient and working hard to get to modern times. I got the feeling that Cambodia has a lot more religion affiliations, we saw about 4 temples a day there in ruins, we had to dress with respect towards the temples. In Vietnam the feeling there is more about recovery, the wars really devastated them, changed their dynamics so much, but they are fighting strong and wow do they know how to cook.
Vietnamese cooking is delicious and different according to where in Vietnam you are, they have divided themselves to three regions north central and south. We loved the south and north the most, they even describe themselves by their foods, that central is more bland and north likes multi flavors and south is more spicy. Oh they love their Pho! They eat it for breakfast and lunch. I got quite addicted to it for breakfast. I absolutely love soup and now I have a country and excuse to be allowed to have soup for all three meals!!!
Culture shock is kinda the thrill for travelers like me and the lot of you out there. I highly recommend checking these countries out, try all their foods, they do not eat dog and cats as much as you think, just ask your server they are pretty honest! Honest!