One thing Matt and Brett weren't prepared for was the emotional experience of visiting the Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh

INTREPID TRAVELLERS: Professional couple Matt, 45, and Brett, 51, from Newcastle reveal their likes and dislikes about their Mekong River cruise.

INTREPID TRAVELLERS: Professional couple Matt, 45, and Brett, 51, from Newcastle reveal their likes and dislikes about their Mekong River cruise.

The hardest thing about being on Travel Guides isn't eating strange exotic food or viewing gut-wrenching scenes of genocide atrocities, or showering three times a day because of the weather, say long-time couple Matt and Brett.

"It's not being able to tell anyone where you are going. We filmed the overseas episodes in 2019, and the rest in Australia once restrictions eased, but basically couldn't tell anyone until Australia Day this year," Matt says.

They are the newest of the intrepid travel guides.

Brett says Matt made him sign up.

"We threw our hat in the ring under no illusion we would get picked. We filled in the application form and sent it off with our audition video. Then they called us for an audition in front of the producers and cameras," Matt says.

"Because we didn't think we'd get picked we were very relaxed and just ourselves, and I think that's what they liked."

"At every stage, because we didn't think we'd get picked, we thought 'Well, at least it's going to make great dinner party conversation'," adds Brett.

In this week's episode the lads and their fellow travellers journey down the Mekong River from Cambodia to South Vietnam.

But while Matt loved the humidity, having grown up in Lismore, NSW, Brett was melting.

"We had to change three times a day, because of the heat and the rain," Brett says.

After receiving a traditional Buddhist water blessing, they visited a martial arts school where Bokator is taught. It is an ancient battlefield martial art used by Khmer military groups.

"We were just hoping there was no audience participation," says Matt. "We're lovers not fighters."

A visit to a silkworm farm sees the duo more interested in the gift shop where the silk is made into sarongs and scarves.

The adventurous pair have always loved to travel and try new things, including the native dishes of the countries they visit. This extends to some rather mind-blowing snacks they tuck into at a food market.

One thing the couple were not prepared for was the emotional experience of visiting the Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh.

"We knew vaguely about the war, but we hadn't really experienced it until we went there and saw the school that was converted to a torture chamber," Brett says.

"It was tough to go to, tough to see, but not everything can be rainbows and unicorns, you have to understand their history," Matt says. "It shows how resilient they are, they truly are the nicest people."

Of course the Angkor Wat temple complex is impressive, but the guys were much more impressed to meet Vietnamese Australian chef Luke Nuygen at the bustling Ben Thanh food market.

Travel guides' guide: Matt and Brett with their market food guide Luke Nguyen.

Travel guides' guide: Matt and Brett with their market food guide Luke Nguyen.

"He introduced us to the king durian [fruit] which tastes like cream cheese. We liked it. Luke was a really good guide," Matt says.

On the whole, the lads say the trip was good value, and even though they are developing nations, you could go to the extreme and find places to spend a lot of money.

They would both love to revisit Vietnam but say they equally love coming back home to Newcastle.

Where to next? "We would love to go back to New Zealand. It's a special place, and we got married there," Matt says.

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