Drinks · Experience · Food · singapore · Travel

Siem Reap trip journal – day 1 (The Amazing Residence – The Oasis Siem Reap – Pub Street )

Woohoo! Finally visited Siem Reap! As Indonesian, I don’t need a visa to visit Cambodia, but my friend needed one because she is Dutch. To learn more about whether you need a visa or not and what kind of visa you need to enter Cambodia, please read this post here. Other than a visa, we also needed to fill out 2 forms, an arrival card (and departure card) and customs clearance card. I didn’t bring my pen so I had to borrow from my neighbour on the plane.

arrival card departure card custom clearance card

Once we landed in Siem Reap, we entered the arrival hall and I went straight to Passport Control, while my friend had to go to Visa on Arrival counter with many other people. After she finished with the visa and paid $30, she then proceeds to passport control. I was done before her so I just waited near the baggage belt. We didn’t have checked-in luggage though, only 1 small bag for the cabin. But I think if we checked in a suitcase, it wouldn’t take long to retrieve it since the queue for passport check and visa takes some time.

Arrival Hall Siem Reap Cambodia
Arrival Hall

Once we’ve done inside, we went to customs area and handed over the form to the officer. We tried to find our shuttle from the hotel but couldn’t find my name so we decided to buy a sim card first. The sim card seller is located on the right side from the exit. I bought the one from metfone because of what I read before I flew. It said metfone has the best coverage even in suburb area. The price is $3 for 7 days tourist sim card with 5 GB data. My friend bought cellcard sim card from the next shop because it was cheaper. Tourist sim card for 7 days was $2 with 1.4 GB data and 50 cents balance for call. At first, I thought I needed a lot of data and no need of phone balance but later that day I found out I was wrong…

Metfone tourist sim card Siem Reap Cambodia
Metfone tourist sim card

Once we got our sim cards, we went back to exit area to look for our driver. This time we found him! A guy name Bun Rong held my name on the paper. He introduced himself to us. His english is really good! We walked to the gate where he asked s to wait for him there while he picked his tuktuk. We called it tuktuk because it’s easier. The vehicle is called remorque in Cambodia. Hence, there is remorque tour.

I was excited to ride it! It can fit 4 adults and less shaking than Thailand’s tuktuk.

Mr Bun Rong and his tuktuk
Mr Bun Rong and his tuktuk
Riding a remorque in Siem Reap Cambodia
Riding a remorque!

Siem Reap city view

Siem Reap city view

We arrived at hotel 20 minutes later and proceed to lobby to check in. The staff explained many things but he has an accent when he speaks so we hardly understand what he said. I got better understanding at his English compared to my friend, maybe, because I’m used to Vietnamese speaking English with their accent as well. Even so, I missed some words too.. In short, he explained about the tour and how to reserve it. We told him that we want to see Angkor Wat for sunrise and he told us the normal price for tuktuk is $18 but since it is very early, there is a charge of $5 (so total $23 for 8 hours tour, sounds reasonable!). He also told us that the hotel will prepare our breakfast in a box so we can carry it and eat it at Angkor Wat. Great service!

After all the explanation, he showed us our room at 2nd floor. Holy molly, the room is huge! We picked room with 2 twin beds and it is not two-single beds but two-queen beds! The bathroom also spacious, it has shower area on one side and a bathtub on the other side. They provide bath robe and slippers as well. A fridge, and a safety box. In one corner, there is a dressing table with a huge mirror. Really nice for a very good price!

We tried the safety box but it said error and nothing we could do so we called the reception to ask about it. The staff came to our room to check and he told us how to do it. I explained to him that we followed the instruction on the leaflet but still error but he insisted that we should try again later after 20 minutes. Fine. To be honest I didn’t like that respond but I let it go since we wanted to go out first. We were hungry and want to find some food!

The Amazing Residence Siem Reap Cambodia
The Amazing Residence
The Amazing Residence Siem Reap Cambodia
Lobby area
The Amazing Residence Siem Reap Cambodia
The room with 2-queen beds
The Amazing Residence Siem Reap Cambodia
View from our balcony, pool area
The Amazing Residence Siem Reap Cambodia
The bathroom

Our hotel is located near city center. The famous pub street is about 10 mins walk. Our destination that time was something else. I saw it on the app and it has good review so we were interested to try it. We walked with the help of google map and took some photos on the way. The road was busy and there is no pavement which made it hard for us to walk. The weather was nice at that time and it was almost sunset. After about 15 mins walking, we reached Genevieve, the restaurant that we wanted to try. Unfortunately, they were closed! 😦 We didn’t know there is a holiday going on at that time. We found another restaurant nearby but it was also closed. There is another restaurant, about 6 mins walking, called Wat Damnak which is also nearby. My friend suggested we call the restaurant first. This was what that phone balance for! I couldn’t call the restaurant because I didn’t have any balance on my sim card. Luckily, my friend’s 50 cents balance saved the day. She called the restaurant and found out they are open but they are fully booked for the night. Bummer.

We decided to walk back to city center and find something there. On the way, we saw a Cambodian restaurant in a guest house, named The Oasis Siem Reap, so we decided to try it. We ordered the curry, steamed amok fish and mango salad. For the drink, I ordered Cambodia Beer because what’s more refreshing than beer after a long walk 😀

The mango salad was good, fresh and a little sour. It has fish in it though. Curry was just so-so. It was very bland and the curry taste also very thin. Also, the chicken was very small pieces and less than 10 pieces (yes, I counted it!). Amok fish was okay, a bit bland as well. In the end we didn’t satisfy with our food. I was still thinking that it might be because of the restaurant was not good enough. The total cost for two persons was $11.

We continued our journey to City Center and this time our destination was the famous Pub Street. It took about 10 minutes to reach the Siem Reap old market area. There are a lot of shops on the side of the street selling Cambodian handcraft, souvenir, massage, snacks, clothes, and many more. The streets are very vibrant and lively. And there we arrived at Pub Street! You won’t miss it. They put a big sign with lights on it. Cafes, bars, restaurants are there along the way. Even if you don’t like night life, you will still enjoy it. Okay, maybe for a shorter time. It actually reminded me of Pham Ngu Lao area in Ho Chi Minh City. Very busy and loud street but this one not as loud though.

There are some local restaurants that offer Cambodian Cuisine cooking class in the area. One of them is Khmer Family Restaurant. We went there to order cocktail because we were still full. My friend ordered Kampot Pepper Mojito and I ordered Passion Fruit Mojito. Somehow I couldn’t taste the alcohol in it. The prices for cocktail and alcohol in general is cheap though, especially compared to Singapore (well doh! lol).

Pub Street Siem Reap Cambodia Night time
Pub Street
Cambodian Landmine Survivors Donation Pub Street
Cambodian Landmine Survivors
Khmer Family Restaurant Siem Reap Cambodia
Khmer Family Restaurant
Cocktail Menu Khmer Family Restaurant Siem Reap
Cocktail Menu
Kampor Pepper Mojito and Passion Fruit Mojito
Kampor Pepper Mojito and Passion Fruit Mojito

After we finished our drink, we head back to hotel because we need to get up very early the next day. The pick up to Angkor Wat will be at hotel by 4.30am, which mean we have to get up at 3.30am at least. Eek! We really hope the sunrise and Angkor Wat really worth the effort…

Thanks for reading, continue on day 2!

Ciao!

Experience · Food · Travel

Singapore Trip – day 1

I wasn’t looking forward to this trip, because I have to do a check-up during my stay there. Woke up this morning at 5.15 am, finished packing my stuff and went to airport at 6.30 am. There wasn’t traffic jam and I arrived around 7 am at airport. I didn’t have my luggage with me, because my husband will carry it with him after he’s finished with work. My flight was with tiger air. The queue was not bad, I picked the shortest queue with not many checked-in baggage. But ended up waiting longer because of the trainee at the counter.

After I finished my check-in, I need to go through the first labyrinth. Security check. At least they make line so it was not that bad. It just looked terrible because of too many people at a time in 1 long queue, but the wait was not that long.

Next one is the immigration. Second labyrinth. This one always frustrates me because of the way they are queuing. I saw the line at most right side had a chance to be served by 2 counters. There is a counter for priority passenger, and if no one is there the officer will call the person on the line at most right side. Good chance! I picked that line of course. Just as about 3 persons standing on priority line. . . In the end, it was the same with other line.

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I was waiting at gate 16 but they changed it to gate 19. Luckily it is not far, so I didn’t have to walk far 😀 I saw a water (drinking) station before gate 16 and a water dispenser before gate 18. So next time I will bring empty water bottle and get water from there instead of buying. Yes, i’m cheapskate! This time I bought it from a store for USD $2! Or 45k vnd.

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The flight was on-time. I arrived at Changi International Airport terminal 2 at 11.55 pm as scheduled. I went directly to arrival, passed the immigration and custom check, and straight to money changer to buy simcard. There are several kiosk that sell simcard, but my favorite is Travellex Money Changer. They have Singtel Hi! Tourist 5 day for SGD15. Great deal. Starhub also have something similar for SGD18. Since I’m only staying in Singapore for 5 days, I bought that Singtel 5-day tourist simcard. There is other packages as well. You can check it at the counter.

I went to the city by train (MRT). Terminal 2 is very convenient as the MRT station is at the same building, so I don’t have to take sky train to other station to get on the train. It was raining when I arrived in Singapore. My friend told me it has been since 6 am. So I decided to look for lunch nearby Orchard area. I chose Food Republic in Wisma Atria.

When you don’t know what to eat, it is better to go for food court to get some ideas. Food Republic in Wisma Atria is one of my favorite. The location and the food variant are good. It is close by from Orchard MRT Station. They have Japan food city too now! As I strolled around Food Republic, I found one food I wanted. It was chicken cutlet noodle!

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Chicken Cutlet Noodle @ RedRing Treasures Cutlet Noodles

The place called RedRing Treasures Cutlet Noodles. I was interested in 2 dishes. Chicken cutlet and squid cutlet. I actually like squid better but I need to remember my health.. And squid is trickier to cook. I hate chewy squid. So I picked chicken instead. Paid SGD 5.5. While waiting for my food, I read that their cutlet was marinated for 24 hours before fried. Interesting.

Since I came there alone, I couldn’t asked someone to look for a place to sit for me. So I walked around with a tray, trying to find a place to sit and eat. It was hard on lunch hour, even tho it was already 1 pm still many people eating there. When I finally found a place, I tried the cutlet. It was delicious! The meat is tender and they tasted very good. So they weren’t lying about marinated the cutlet! I like this! The noodle also good. Chinese thin noodles. Recommended to try.

After lunch, I walked to my hotel and stopped by at Shaw Center to see the pet shop there. There is 1 pet shop inside Shaw Center on 4th floor, called Pet Lovers Centre. I didn’t look for something in particular. Just browsing and see if they have a good collar for my friend. She asked me to let her know if I found one for her dog. But there was nothing special about the collar. They are just normal collar without any design. I looked around the shop and didn’t find anything interesting to buy. Found some stuffs that are available in Ho Chi Minh City as well, and their prices are higher here.

I checked in at my hotel and rest for a bit. At 6.20 pm I went to Novena Station and met my friend. We planned to have dinner together. At first, I wanted to try Founder Bakkut Teh. But they are located in Balestier Road, about 20 mins walking from the station. Too far.. Gonna starve before reach the place. We decided to look around in Square 2. My friend has a favorite ramen place there and it had queue when we arrived at the shop. So we were walking around looking for another option, and we found Seoul Yummy.

We sat at the corner table. The table next to us ordered Buddae Jigae, a mixed of meat, vegetable, and noodle in kimchi soup. Very interesting, but also looks spicy… Me and spicy food, never get along 😦 In the end, we ordered something else. My friend ordered a spicy kimchi ramen with chicken and cheese.

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Spicy Kimchi Ramen with Chicken and Cheese

I ordered grilled eel bibimbap. I forgot to take a picture of it 😦 For the drink, we ordered roasted barley tea. Overall the food is okay. It is spicy and more to the sweet taste than salty. I don’t mind a little spicy food as long as it’s salty as well. But this restaurant mostly has sweet taste. Even on their side dishes.

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Among the appetizer / side, I like the tofu the most since it’s salty xD In total, I spent SGD 22 for foood and drink. Quite expensive and the food was not impressive. Definitely not recommend this place.

After dinner, we walked around inside Square 2. There are not many shops there, but at least have a few interesting shops. The first one we saw was Korean supermarket. They are selling korean product (doh!).

20161007_201954.jpgThis noodle, according my friend, can be made as seen on korean drama. Cooked it and add chesse then eat with kimchi. She said it is very yummy. I should try it!! But I don’t want to buy the noodle here and carry it over to vietnam… Let’s see if I can find it in Ho Chi Minh City. They have a new korean supermarket in the city.

Next is Japan Store. Many household products and they are cheap as well. Also many Japanese product. So I like this place.

We entered several fashion shops as well, but didn’t buy anything. The products are not good and their price is high. I saw 1 dress, very simple and no brand. Price tag is SGD 83. Good bye!

On ground floor I saw Vincci. This one is a shoe brand from Malaysia if I’m not mistaken. My other friend used to like this so much because it’s comfortable to wear and affordable price. We looked around the small corner of Vincci and didn’t find anything to buy at the moment. But at least this friend of mine found a new place to buy her next shoes 😀

The last shop we stopped by was Miss Empire. This shop has MANY cute accesories. Earrings, bracelets, necklace, bag charm, etc. Their products are from korean. There are some product from Paris, France as well. I found and owl earrings! It’s so cute, couldn’t resist to buy it. The earrings price range are from SGD 15 to SGD 49. They have gold plated ones and silver ones.

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They have other branches as well. And each branch has special collection. For example, the branch at Clarke Quay has more collection for party people, and at Orchard Central has style for Japanese people. Interesting… I need to check it out 😀 The shopkeeper asked me to check their website as well. http://www.missempire.com.sg.

That was all for day 1. There was not much to do other than eat and shop 😀 but at least it was a productive one because I tried new things and found new things as well!

Thanks for reading my adventure in Singapore during my 1st day here. See you on next post!

Ciao.

Experience

2015 in review

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A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 630 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

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Thank you for all your support during 2015! Wishing you all a happy new year! Please continue to support me in 2016 😉