Thursday, August 21, 2008

Siam Reap, Cambodia

Visited Siam Reap on March 2008. I booked my air tickets via Air Asia and then book my ground tour via Sunway Travel. This is the best tour i ever join with no complaints from anyone in the group. We had 10 of us and I requested a 25 seater bus. The food that the travel agent provided was great. We able to try all the local food, chinese food, fine indo-china cuisine and international buffet at Angkor Mondial. Angkor Mondial serves international buffet and you able to watch their cultural dance performance.
My friend recommend me to try Herbs Pizza near Pumpkin street. So while having our lunch next door, i ordered Herbs Pizza, the pizza was ok and we wonder why this pizza is so special. Well, I would not tell you why until you experience yourself. ha!ha!

We visitied Angkor Wat and others temples within the city, the architecture was so amazing. Certain area is like a war zone where pieces of rocks is on the floor and the architect is trying to built it back to its original. Is a huge puzzle to play around with and furthermore the rocks is so heavy. The architect got to make sure every pieces of the rock matches otherwise it will fall. I must said I must salute this people and their job is really not easy.

Royal Bath

Angkor Wat

We stay at Casa Angkor Hotel, 3 star hotel at the town area. Prince hotel is just behind and there is a casino inside the hotel. You can eat and drink beer or coke for FREE as long you gamble. We only play the slot machines but only won USD2..ha!ha!

 Casa Angkor Hotel

Massage is totally different from Thai Massage. Continuously two days we went for massage, we were tired walking to all the temples. Trust me, first day you will enjoy seeing angkor wat and other temples. Later you will said ...urrrrr seeing ROCK again......aiyoh......

We visited Kbal Splean which is quite far from angkor wat. The road was dusty and the guide told us that we going to have our lunch at the hut. All of us said the road is so dusty and muddy, you sure we going to eat there. Especially me i'm very particular on the cleanliness. I told my friends is ok, you guys can have lunch there, cos i got my TUNA SPREAD...ha!ha! To our surprise the hut was very clean and in fact this is the best place for local food. We able to try Amok which is some sort of fish with santan. Of cos i did not able to eat my Tuna Spread. So don't judge a book by its cover.

Back to Kbal Splean, we need to walk at least 45 minutes up hill to see the thousand lingas. Linga means male pennis. Those lingas are crafted on the stone at the river. Unfortunately is a dry season so we can't see the water flowing on the river but we able to see the crafted lingas and statues very clear. Cos most of the tour will visit Tonle Sap Lake but according to friends nothing to see there beside a huge lake and a seafood restaurant.
 Thousan Linga's at Kbal Splean. Linga's mean penis. Look at the picture clearly
Kbal Splean
As for souvenirs, we did not buy anything cos everything mostly are from Thailand. Everything is in USD. If you wish to buy anything always remember to negotiate more than 30-50%.


I got my free tickets from Air Asia to Bali and eventhou is free still need to pay RM175 for surcharge. Anyway is really cheap. Therefore i can afford to stay at 5 star resort. We stay at Bali Mandara Spa and Resort which is located at Legian. Is not really far from Kuta. The room is big and overall is very clean. I'm very particular on cleanliness.

This is my second time to Bali. If you really want to shop for handicrafts, pantings, clothes and etc, you should visit Sukawati. This place is the cheapest and if you are joining tour, i dont think is included in your itinery.

For food, you can try to eat at Ibu Okra where they serve babi guling @ roast pork. The cost for one person is RM8 excluding drink. They serves the roast pork with rice and vegetables. Another place is bebek benggil @ roast duck near ubud. I saw this place in the magazine but did not get a chance to try it. If you want to have nice seafood and great environment meaning facing the sea, you can go to Jimbaran. We had our dinner at Bumbu Bali Restaurant. At the sea front, there is a store selling corn, you should give it a try.

For water sports, we visited Tanjung Benua and we only pay RM40 per person to visit the turtle santuary and to view corals on the boat fibre glass. My sisters went for para-sailing and is so cheap, only RM20 per person. I'm too scared to try.

It is best that you hired a driver and van to move around.

I definitely will visit Bali again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hong Kong- Best place to eat and shop

I have been to Hong Kong 4 times since 1999. It looks like every two years once. My friend always said that is my second home or time to balik kampung. Ha!Ha! Hong Kong is a very nice place to visit especially when comes to food and shopping. Each time we will explore new places and new warehouse outlet.

Places to shop
a. fa yuen kai @ flower street at Mongkok, this place is the cheapest and you can find anything there. Even the coffee shop here the prices is cheaper. You can try also Sai Yeong Choi Street, Sei Yee Kee Street which is just nearby.

b. take the MRT to Tung Chung, the stop where you go to Ngong Ping 360 degree ride. Once you come out from the MRT you can see the shopping centre. Inside the mall, you able to find warehouse outlet for Nike, Levis, Addidas, Esprit, Puma and etc.

c. if you would like to shop for cartoon characters figurines and all those Japan stuff, you can go to Mongkok. You can find it in those buildings, i can't remember the name but most of the shops are in Mongkok. Bought Final Fantasy figurine there and is only RM75. Quite cheap compare to KL is around RM150.

d. People said Shum Shui Po is very cheap. You can find clothes, handphones, crystal very cheap. Bear in mind those clothes you can't try. I went there once and i dont really like it. Always go there in the morning.

e. I always like to go to the City Super supermarket at Times Square, Causeway Bay to shop for kitchen accessories and food. I can spend 2 hours there and some of the kitchen utensils and accessories hardly can find in KL. You can also shop at Sogo.

f. stanley market - you can get good quality, value for price for children clothes and winter clothing. You can also find variety of souvenirs here.

g. Esprit Outlet located behind Kowloon Hotel, Tsim Tsa Tsui. You can also visit Parklane.

Places to eat must try the steamboat at this place known as Tanyoto at Grand Tower, opposite Langham Place. Take Mongkok Exit C. For the soup, you can have a choice of ma lat @ shezhuan spicy soup and tomato soup. The tomato soup is fantastic. Dunno how to explain to you but definitely must try even if it is long queue.

b. stanley market - a chinese restaurant at the corner inside stanley market, some where near the alley. I always like to go there for lunch. The food is very good and the price is very reasonable. Also quite big portion. Their deep fried black pepper squid, sweet and sour pork, bitter gourd fried with eggs and etc was yummy.

c. Sai Kung - you must go Sai Kung for seafood. The way they cook is really different from Malaysia. I loves the steam prawns, fried yee mee with lobster and etc.

d. Honey moon dessert at Sai Kung. After you had your seafood dinner, do stop by their famouse dessert store known as honey moon if i'm not mistaken. Their dessert was great. You can try their durrian pancake and mango pudding. Got variety of dessert which you want to eat everything.

e. Wan Tan Mee. You must go to Wellington Street at Central. Look for Jin Jai Kee Restaurant or Mark Noodle House, 77 Wellington Street. Both shop is same row and is at Wellington street. Do ask around. They serve the best wan tan mee in town.

f. Roast Goose and chinese cuisine at Yung Kee Restaurant located at Wellington Street. Must try even though quite pricey. Do not miss it.

g. Dim Sum - people said you should try Maxim near the HK Courthouse. I never had a chance to try. But i did try the dim sum at one of the Chinese Restaurant at Diamond Hill Shopping Centre. After dim sum, you can do some shopping there or you can walk opposite to visit the Chi Lin Nunnery which they got fantastic landscape. You can take pictures there.

h. Breakfast set those well known A set, B set, C set which are macoroni with soup, ham, egg and tea. We try different sets everyday since none of us know how to read chinese. Per meal is only RM9 per person and we ate Fa Yuen Kai near Royal Plaza Hotel, Grand Century Plaza. You can find alot of coffee shop there. You can also do some shopping at Grand Century Plaza for Esprit, G2000 and etc.

Places to visit
a. Ngong Ping 360 degree cable car ride to see the Giant Buddha at Lantau Island.

b. Tai O - even thou ngong ping and Tai O is very near each other but you can't save money and try to cover both places in one day. Therefore is better to arrange one day tour for each place.

c. Cheong Chau - is just a sea side, nothing much to see and you need to take a ferry to go there

d. Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree - to go to this place is very far, you need to go to Tai Po. The journey almost 2 hours to go there by taking bus.

e. Disney Land - is quite small but should go and watch all the shows e.g. lion king and mickey mouse. We were dissapointed at the parade as it was drizzling and all the mascot could not walk. Therefore all of them are place in the mini train and entire parade lasted only 5 minutes.

f. Aberdeen - this is the place where the well known seafood restaurant JUMBO is located. You can take the boat to see how people live in the fishing boat. Per person is RM25 for boat ride.

g. Victoria Peak - to see entire HK view. Try to go there in the morning and another round in the night. You experience different view. Especially if you go during end of the year where all the buildings are all light up, it is so beautiful. You can also visit Madamme Tussaud at The Peak.

h. Areana of Stars, Tsim Tsa Tsui, if you are going end of the year do check out their schedule for symphony of lights which starts at 8pm. Is a laser show from all the buildings. Do not miss this show.

i. Santa Town at Central - you only able to see this end Nov till Dec for christmas deco. Must see.

I stay at Royal Plaza hotel at Mongkok, this is a 5 star hotel and the room is very big. Next to the hotel is Grand Century Plaza Shopping Centre and MRT and KCR station is just beside it. Very convienient place to stay and just take the elevator down is the fa yuen kai where you could eat and shop.

Eaton Hotel at Nathan Road is also quite convenient but the room is very small. MRT station is just 5-10mins walk.

If you wish to visit MACAU, you can also join a day tour from Kowloon Hotel, Tsim Tsa Tsui. Their service desk will help you to arrange and I only pay RM300 which includes transportation to the pier , tickets to Macau, one lunch, tickets to MACAU TOWER , city tour and half and hour stop by at SANDS Casino.

NEVER NEVER buy chinese herbs, abalone, scallops or anything from NATHAN ROAD. I had a bad experience where one of the shop i went, they recommend us to buy some sort of abalone to boil soup. 4 of my friends heard that it only cost us RM208 and we agreed to purchase. I gave them my credit card to swipe and this guy just pass me the transaction slip and use his thumb to cover the amount. Is my habbit to check how much I sign. Therefore I asked him to remove his thumb so that I can see the amount. The amount came up to HKD4,000 which is RM2,000. I argued with him and he said is RM208 for 100gm. I said you never tell us it was based on gm. I told him i'm not buying and request for him to cancel the transaction. Guess what happen, he said let's make a deal, you pay me HKD2,000 and let's settle it. I'm not going to pay for this and I insist he cancel my transaction. After half an hour of arguement and they got customer coming in to the stall, he finally cancel my transaction. Straight away I called my bank to cancel my credit card. I lodge my report to HK Consumer Tribunal when I'm back home. This is my worst experience. If you need to buy any scallops, ask your HK friend to bring you. And also when they ask you when are you leaving, never tell them the truth.

The Shop name is Chung Kiu(Group) Pharmarcy Co G/F 336, Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

I always love to visit HK and this bad experience does not deter me from visiting. When will be my next trip? I love to visit during year end where you could see all the christmas deco and the weather is great.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Places to visit - Chiang Mai, Thailand

chianChiang Mai situated in Thailand is a very nice and cool place to visit. If you are looking for household decorated items, this is the place that you should come to shop. Make sure you bring a huge bag with you.

Stay at Central Duangtawan Hotel, 4 stars hotel and is very convenient. Just less than 5 mins walk from the hotel is the night market where you can find clothes, food, art pieces, jewellery, handicraft and etc. Mcdonald and Starbuck is also around the corner.

Places we visited are Doi Suthep, 45 mins from the city. We took tut-tut and is so dusty all the way. Doi Suthep is a beautiful temple. Once you reach there you got to walk up the staircase, is really a lot of steps, more than Batu Caves.

We had our dinner at Riverside, mostly serve thai and western food. The environment was ok.
The next day we booked our van cum driver to take us around. We went to see the long neck tribe and is really far from the city. Entrance fees is RM35 per person and you able to see few of the ladies with long neck and they sell scarfs and handicrafts. The hand made scarfs are quite cheap range from RM10 till RM35 depends on the quality. This time our tour guide took us for an authentic thai cuisine and their furniture settings uses teak wood. The place is known as Tham Nam Restaurant and is also next to the river. The food was great and the price was really cheap. Highly recommended place.

Restaurant :-
Aunthentic Thai food
Tha nam restaurant
TELEPHONE: (66 53) 282 988, 275 125. 276 179,FAX: (66 53) 275 125

Palaad Tawanrom Restaurant - Must book in advanced, for great night view.
Palaad Tawanron" offers a waterfall, a lake plus incredible views so special from every angle.

Enough of sight seeing, we want shopping. We went to Bandawai which is 45mins from the city near the airport road. Do not go this place on a sunday cos most of the shop closed. You can get really good quality of handicraft and art pieces. I bought a wooden horse and only RM15 where you can't find it in Malaysia. We also bought a wooden horse crafting and is only RM100. We bought this at the factories towards bandawai market. The market is huge. Therefore prepare to walk and if you are thirsty you can drink coconut water. We spent whole day in Bandawai.

Our tour guide took us to few factories and guess what i bought home. Wooden salad bowl which is so big and heavy. It only cost me RM25. I just bought it first and don't bother about how to carry it home. When we reach hotel, we need to start packing our stuff and too many things that we bought and lucky we got boxes from the factory and also bubbles wrap that we brought along. So remember to bring bubbles wrap, musking tape and scissors if you are planning to buy handicrafts.

We got to said goodbye to Chiang Mai and definitely we will come again. Maybe next round we should go Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Sun.

Places to visit - Krabi

Took airasia flight to Krabi, Thailand and is only 2 hours flight. Very short trip it was only 3 days 2 nigths. I went in May 2008 and it was raining season, therefore dont go during this period cos cant go for any island hopping trip.

The hotel that we stay was great and very convenient. I highly recommend you to stay at Vogue Spa & Resort at Ao Nang Beach. Is a 4-star hotel. The room is quite big and clean. We even went for their spa. Unfortunately their jacuzzi is spoil, therefore please check before you book their spa. The staff are very friendly and helpful. Just accross the street you can find alot of food stores , massage outlet and etc. Mcdonald and Burger King opens 24 hours.

You can also try their foot reflexology or body massage and is really cheap. 1 hour only RM25 depends which outlet you go. Just opposite our hotel, there is this shop call Let's Relax, you can try their reflexology. Very nice environment and most important is clean.

You can shop around Ao Nang Beach and you can also able to find seafood restaurant at the end of the road. Can't remember the name but it sounds like Wang Chai Seafood Restaurant. You can ask around for the direction. The food is ok and the environment was great cause it faces the sea. So you can enjoy the sea breeze.

Since we can't go for island hopping, we join the local tour to Hot Springs, Crystal Clear Water, Temple and shopping at Tesco Lotus and Branded Outlets. Per person only RM90 for 1 day tour.
The hot springs quite dissapointing cos very small. As for crystal clear water, you need to walk up the hill before you reach the crystal clear water lake.

We had our lunch at Tesco Lotus foodstall. The price for a bowl of noodle is only RM2.50 but very small portion. Therefore you can try other varieties. The shopping at tesco was great as all of us shop for thai instant noodles. We kept buying and totally forgot whether our bag got enough space or not. Buy first and think later...this was our policy...ha!ha!
My friends enjoy the banana and mango pancake at Ao Nang, it is so cheap only RM2 per piece and is fill with mango.

Mango and Banana Pancake store at Ao Nang Beach.

This trip was really short and we wish to go back there again but this time I would like to visit Koh Lanta which is an island opposite Krabi.