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Thursday, October 9, 2008

...som savakom siem reap...

ahoy peeps...i've just been back from my 4d3n siem reap vacation...lalalala~~~
warning: this entry will be quite lengthy...bear with me, ok!
Day 1
early monday morning (6th Syawal), 4 of us (me, Beebee, Harni & Yati) departs from LCCT via AK846 (Airbus A320) - Air Asia at around 7.30am (Malaysian time)...our flight was estimated to reach the destination in about 2 hours time...
we arrived at Siem Reap International Airport at around 8.30am (Cambodian time)...there, we were greeted by Hae (representative from the hotel entrusted to pick us up)...

the journey from the airport to our hotel - Radius International Angkor Star Hotel took about 30 minutes...as the rooms will only be ready at 1pm, we decided to left our belongings at the reception counter and started our Siem Reap tour right there and then...yeay...

our 1st adventure - we headed off to the Tonle Sap Lake...Hae drove us to the brim of the lake and we agreed to purchase the US$10 package boat tour...it was more like a 'sampan' ride though...our 'sampan' captain introduced himself as 'Tiger'...




Tiger took us to see the life of the floating village folks...


we also dropped by the fish farm and crocodile farm located at the floating village...




right after the visit, we went for a drink at the local restaurant...me, Beebee and Harni were having young coconuts while Yati had orange juice...then, Hae brought us to a gemstone shop...at first, we decided to look around and just surveyed the price...hahaha...i ended up buying a flower-patterned rubies ring for mama and Beebee bought herself an emerald bracelet...

on the way to our hotel, we dropped by at the famous Madam Sachiko Angkor Cookies factory outlet store...there, we've got the chance to taste the Angkor Cookies - flavoured butter cookies in the shape of Angkor Wat...there were about 6 different flavours...i like the Green Tea and Black Pepper flavoured cookies...however, we didn't buy any to be brought home considering the expensive price...


at nearly 1pm, we checked in our rooms...me and Beebee in 216 while Harni and Yati were placed in 314...me and Beebee performed our prayers and joined Harni and Yati at 314 to have room service for our lunch that day...i had Beef Loklak - local Cambodian style stir fried black pepper beef served with steamed white rice...it was simply marvellous...Beebee and Harni ordered the Cambodian Fried Rice...i found the taste was quite bland - not that spicy nor salty...and our dear Yati had the Tom Yam Kung with white rice...the taste of the soup was moderately fair - a little bit sweet, not too soury nor spicy...it didn't have the 'Thai kick' aura...

after lunch, we settled to have our rest...

in the evening, since we were still quite unsure on kosher food available around the town, again we were having room service for dinner that day...this time, Yati had Spaghetti Bolognese...the taste was okay...Beebee ordered Fish and Chips...the fillets were fried until too crispy and the tartar sauce was just okay...me and Harni had white rice and we shared our dishes...i asked for Stir Fried Chicken with Ginger while Harni took on Spicy Sweet Sauce Chicken...the former dish was nice while the latter was not that good...the sauce was thick and heavy laden with tomato sauce making the taste a tad too sweet for my liking...

at night, we took the local trishaw - the 'Tuktuk' to the Night Market as well as the Noon-Night Market...this was our 1st shopping trip...i bought some fridge magnets and i also bought the local elephant designed cotton shirts for my niece and nephews...

we stopped at a local convenience store on our way back to the hotel and bought several snacks and mineral water...

Day 2
our day started off at 8.30am where we had our buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant - Star Cafe...then, we rode on the free shuttle bus pre-arranged for a guided tour of a funded Cambodian silk farm - Artisans d'Angkor...the silk farm was located at the Puok district - about 16km from the town...

at the silk farm, we were guided to the process of making fine Cambodian silk right from the start...we were shown the mulberry plants field where they planted many different breeds of mulberry plants coming from Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan...

then, there was the nursery where the workers took care of the silk worms...

there was a section for baby worms breeding, a section for feeding the silk worms (stages by stages), a section for building silk cocoons and a moth mating section...the complete silk worms cycle is approximately 47 days...

the silk cocoons were dried and then transferred to the workshops where they were sorted, boiled, wheeled into silk reels and dyed...dyes were created using mixtures of natural ingredients such as tree barks, colourful flowers and even nails (to produce shiny colours)...

when the fine silk reels were ready, the designer will transfer the chosen pattern on sticks which will be used by the artisans during the silk cloth weaving...

an expert artisan will took about 2 days to produce 1m of silk cloth...having known the hard facts, we are now aware on the subjectivity of the high price of silk cloth...huh...

the tour ended with a visit to the souvenir shop where i bought some cotton kramas - local Cambodian scarfs/shawls...

we had asked the shuttle bus driver to drop us at the Cambodian Cultural Village instead of sending us back to the hotel...we took the brochure from the ticket counter and planned to come and visit on the day after...then, we called for a 'Tuktuk' and went to the Central Market...there i bought wooden tissue box for mama, T-shirts and souvenirs for friends and found the only shop selling Cambodia shot glasses...

after quite some time, we took a 'Tuktuk' and headed for Sour Khoun Villa Restaurant...the restaurant owner - Encik Razak Salim is a local Cambodian Muslim whom i met at our hotel lobby while waiting for my friends for breakfast...for lunch that day, we were having Fish Amok - river fish cooked in thick local spices gravy (like rendang), Chicken Tom Yam and Beef Stew with Kangkong...i found that the Amok was quite sweet - not to my liking...Tom Yam was bland and thin...and the stew was heavily oily...

Encik Razak later introduced us to his 'Tuktuk' driver friend - Yousuf Ahmad...Yousuf has been studied in Malacca and also had experienced working in Pattani...so, he can converse quite well in the Malay language...from that moment, Yousuf had unofficially became our tour guide... Yousuf sent us back to the hotel and we had made arrangement with him to go to the Angkor Wat at 4.30pm...

at around 4pm, we went window shopping at the nearby Duty Free Shop located to the left of our hotel and we also pay a visit to the Lucky Mall - new shopping complex next to our hotel (the right side)...

Yousuf came on time and brought us to the entrance of Angkor Wat...we stopped by at the Sokha Hotel Hot Air Balloon field before proceed to the temple...we managed to snap a few shots at the entrance...however, by the time we reach the fort, it was already quite dark and we couldn't have nice views on the carvings of the walls...Yousuf later promised to bring us back to selected sites of Angkor Wat areas (Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, Bayon) early tomorrow morning...



we then planned to watch a charitable free concert at the Cambodian Children's Hospital Hall...since we reached the town quite early, Yousuf dropped us at Angkor Community Tourist Market - a shop selling souvenirs made by Cambodian disabled people...

we went to the hall at 7.15pm but later was told that the show was re-programmed for a free movie...we declined the invitation and we asked Yousuf to bring us to any club featuring Apsara Dancing performance...Yousuf drove us to the Jasmine Angkor Restaurant...alas, there was major lighting problem - power failure...

for dinner that day, we then went to the only Malaysian restaurant in Cambodia - d'Wau Restaurant...the owner is a Malaysian with Cambodian parents...at d'Wau, we treated ourselves with local cuisines...we chose to have the Beef Lab (a kerabu style minced beef), the Prawn Tempura platter and Shnau Creuk (clear lemon chicken soup)...the best thing was having Sambal Belacan served with our rice...yeay...we also had watermelon juices for drinks...

after dinner, we went to experience the Khmer traditional foot and body massage at one of the many parlour...my masseuse's very young and her name was Jhaipad...i enjoyed most of it but when it came to the back massage, i had to refrain Jhaipad in doing so as my sternum was still not fully recovered yet...the massage lasted for about 1 hour...

we went back to the Night Market area for the second time...i didn't buy anything that night...woaaa...

before heading back to our hotel, Yousuf brought us to the local Cambodian fruit juice stall...Yousuf ordered a special blend of local fruit mixtures with milk...only Beebee and Yati managed to drink the cocktail...me allergic to the milk while Harni can't tolerate with durian...

Day 3
we had our buffet breakfast quite late as our arrangement with Yousuf was at 9.30am...we went to the selected sites of Angkor Wat and happily taking panoramic pictures...

we had our break at the local stall and we tasted the roasted maize served with coconut milk and also the Som Tam - a Thai young papaya delicacy...on the way back to the town, Yousuf had stopped to buy the local Cambodian lemang and each of us had a bite...

we went inside the Cambodian Cultural Village...and we had our rounds on the Wax Museum, the Judgement Tunnel/Ghost House, Cham Village, Kroeung Village, Phnorng Village, Floating Village and Miniature Monument Park within 2 hours time before the scheduled shows...we watched 4 shows accordingly...no 1 - charming scarf show at the Mini Theatre...no 2 - we witnessed the Khmer traditional wedding ceremony at the Millionaire House...no 3 - traditional Chinese dancing show at the Chinese Village and lastly no 4 - peacock dancing at the Kola Village...we went back to the hotel where we had our 'Maggi' lunch...hehehe...

in the evening, Yousuf came to bring us for dinner again at Sour Khoun Villa Restaurant...this time, we were having the Cambodian speciality dishes - Snakehead Fish and Daging Lembu Naik Bukit (Cambodian steamboat-style dinner)...the best meal we had in Cambodia...

right after dinner, we went back again to the Night Market (for the last shopping trip)...i bought several silk scarfs for me and i also bought the Kampot Black Pepper for Abema...we went back to the hotel earlier tonight as we need to pack our things...we bade our farewell to Yousuf and wished him luck...

Day 4
today, we had our breakfast really early in the morning since we need to be at the airport by 7.30am...Hae came to sent us off to the airport...

we went back via AK847 (Airbus A320) - Air Asia at around 8.30am (Cambodian time) and reached LCCT at about 11.15am (Malaysian time)...abah and mama came to fetch me, Harni and Yati while Beebee decided to take the Skybus to KL Sentral station...

all in all, i can say that this was a memorable event for me...i love my friends...Siem Reap was interesting and unique in its own way...pictures can tell...yaa...

next stop: Bandung, Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong...huhuhu...Q3 2009 okay...lalalalala~~~

more siem reap pictures at Beebee's weblog and do have a go at Harni's Part I ,Harni's Part II ,Harni's Part III and Harni's Part IV stories...

11 comments:

citrus_medica said...

wah2 bercuti tu..

update gamab cepat2!

rabiatulfarah said...

aliza... kite dh upload gambar.. sile la amik from blog kite

Nerzahs said...

aiiyoo sgt jeles. aku tak gi overseas holiday punnnnn..ohhoo

Dina said...

ngeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sonok nyeeee dia gi jalan2!

:D

nak pegi holiday jugakkkk Hubbyyy oo0oo0o cepatla baleekk!!

Ling said...

enjoyed reading abt ur trip to siem reap.. i'm going in nov '08.. any tips on securing tour /transport for 2 persons.. we're also staying at radius international. buffet b'fast good?

en_me said...

en_me minta maaf dari kejauhan pada semua yang mengenali me selama ini .. maaf la segala kekurangan2 en_me yg ini k

Faiz said...

silk worm? yummy!! ;p

h a r n i said...

ali.. pics uploaded at my fotopages gak.. hehe

Aliza said...

limau - kucuri gamba dari beebee...ade jugak link ke harni...sile2 laa...

beebee - iye...thank you...

erin - jom kite plan next year...most probably g vietnam...kalu g ozzy, aku nk ko jd guide aku ok...

farah - mmg best jalan2 neh :P

ling - just take tuktuk ride around town (4 dollars max for a return trip ok)...to angkor wat (12 dollars for a return trip)...it's better if u manage to bargain in their riel currency...

en me - iye...same2 laa kite...

faiz - buat kite konpius je...yummy?!!

harni - yang...i dah link dah...hehe...and tertanye2 bilekah yati nak ade blog ni...kuikuikui...

h a r n i said...

aliza... aku dh ade part 3..haha kang nak sambung part 4..penat gile okey mengupdate! lain kali pegi 2 ari je..xyah susah2 nak update..haha

oh yati DAH ADE blog tau! tgk link die kt blog aku tu.. tapi tu la kan, setakat ade nama je la.. nanti aku tlg post kan utk dia.. hahaha

p/s: aku jugak yg creat blog tu utk dia okay..

citrus_medica said...

byk giler dowh gamab2 korg.
harni je dh juta2, xkire gamab dr bb lg

layan2~