Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day 1 of trip. Siem Reap

Today as I type this it has been one heck of a tiring day.

Early morning we took the bus to the KLIA LCCT and then thankfully it was a non-delayed Air Asia flight to Siem Reap.

Slept most of the way heh as I was still somewhat sleep challenged.

Arrival in Siem Reap gave us a nice surprise, Malaysian citizens no longer need to pay that US$25 entry visa. Yay for once a Malaysian passport does net some benefits after all.

We had a Land Cruiser pick us up from the airport and bring us to the hotel which is known as the Khemera Angkor Hotel. This is a NICE hotel as the rooms are HUGE and clean. This one is no backpacker joint though.

Enough about the hotel, we decided to go for lunch, silly us to ask the driver of the vehicle to bring us somewhere for lunch. Ended up being ferried to one of those 'rip-the-tourist' type places. OK it wasn't bad, but I am sure there are better places.

The next was a drive into the main city area. The city area is built upon a grid system. Very well planned actually. But unfortunately it is littered with peddlers of all kinds especially little children who are out to get your money.

We found this place that I was hoping to go to called the Blue Pumpkin. This is a nice little cafe run by a frenchie which is quite good. The drinks are good, food above average but what is best is the chairs :D Will post some photos later.

After the walking around, we took a trip to the Tonle Sap lake, this is one of the largest flood plains in south east asia. It is actually extremely dirty. Personally I wouldn't recommend this trip as there isn't much to see. It can be somewhat depressing as well to see all the little children living in such terrible conditions.

The boat ride will bring you along some floating villages and also will show you some of the harshest or rather poorest living conditions there can be. Homes that have to be dismantled due to floods.

The one thing that did interest me was whether there was any wildlife left in the lake. But no one would know the answer.

It started to pour like cats and dogs towards the end of the journey and we were lucky we came in an SUV instead of the motorcycle buggies.

We headed back to the hotel for a shower and then dinner at Viva, this is by far the best Mexican food I have had since leaving USA. Seriously speaking, it is damn bloody good. I am sure I will be coming back again before I leave :)

Then it was massage time. It was quite good, somewhat a mix of a Thai and Chinese style. You either love it or you hate it. Personally I like all massages so it doesn't matter hehe.

Then it was time to go to sleep, for tomorrow I shall go see the Angkor Wat.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A short weekend away : Cameron Highlands.

Been rather tired lately, especially with the heat of the sun and also constant gardening which just doesn't seem to stop.

Decided to go out of town for a bit, just for that much needed break.

Needed some cool clean air for a bit. Usually it will mean one of the highland resorts. Guess this time it is not too different.

Cameron Highlands it is again. Drove up on Friday afternoon and arrived just before dinner and in time for a round of scone and cream. Staying again at the usual joint at this place called Cameronian Inn, it is a decent place. Fairly clean, decently priced and for the most part quite convenient to move about as it is in the smack of Tanah Rata. Plenty of food nearby and even in the Inn itself you can get food, but I would recommend going for a walk to the town centre for a better variety..

Friday night our usual joint called OK TUCK in Brinchang was closed, so we decided to try for some KFC. I suggest you give it the wide berth next time. I know I will be.

Saturday, got up to a late start as usual. But still had some time to do some sight seeing. Started out at this cafe called Uncle Chows, in the new shop lots in Tanah Rata. This place is opened by a retired couple from KL. Most things are quite good. Prices are reasonable for the quality you are getting. Then it was to KHM Strawberry Farm in Kampung Sedia. It is a nice place to have ice blended strawberry juice. I like mine with no sugar :)

After that it was the trip to the peak, it is called Gunung Brinchang. It is exactly 666.6 feet above sea level. Basically this is the highest point of this highlands. Normally it is a very peaceful place to be. But this time there seemed to be some gathering here by some government agency. Place became a nightmare :(

But as always the drive up here is nice. It is not difficult to do, even if you have a small engined vehicle like a Kancil. Just make sure it is well maintained, especially the cooling system. The roads aren't the best, that much I can tell you as there are HUGE potholes on the way up.

Dinner, was a quick trip to OK TUCK for my steamboat. Somehow I love to have steamboat here. In reality it is nothing special. Just the cold weather makes it taste better or rather the heat does not aggravate you as much. However their vegetable dishes tend to be better. In my opinion that is.

Sunday the same ole usual thing.

Then it was home.

Good weekend. Next trip will be less than 3 weeks time. Destination has already been decided, in fact trip has already been paid for.

You will be hearing about it soon enough