11 Nov 2016
I know. It has been ages since I last updated this blog. Caught up with work and personal life. Things have been great so far.
Anyway, to update. I traveled to Italy last December and it was great. Managed to cover Rome, Vatican City and Pisa. Bucketlist checked!
The Colloseum, Vatican and the Leaning Tower of Pisa were all laid in front of my very eyes. It couldn't be more awesome than that.
Anyway, I shall entice you with some pictures taken from various location in Italy before I start sharing my experiences there. Enjoy!
19 Nov 2015
.... this is the continuation of my previous posting on Phnom Penh.
8. The check-in process took less than 10 minutes and before you knew it, we were already settled in out room. I had the time for a power nap. Just a tad close to 8 minutes of closing my eyes to regain energy. Yup, you need to take power nap to re-charge especially important when travelling. Well, you can have it while in the taxi, tuk-tuk or whatever.
9. Since it’s Ramadhan, and the Iftar in Phnom Penh was quite early at about 6.30 pm. Hurriedly, I dashed downstairs (oh, I stayed at the 7th floor with town view and pagoda right in front of my window).
10. Our host for the night took us to the Indian Delight. An indian muslim restaurant at the famous Ton-le Sap river. I didn’t say much and with huge expectation of a sumptuous indian with a twist of Cambodian touch. So I ordered a mutton biryani and mango lassi. It was delicious. Maybe because I was hungry. Maybe because it’s the first meal in Phnom Penh. Maybe because the ambience of the restaurant. I don’t know but it was satisfactory for Iftar. The dinner cost me USD6.
WARNING: PLEASE DON’T CONVERT.
I don’t really mind cos my mind psychologically said that it’s RM6. Well, that help with the burning guilt feeling of the need to convert on everything. I don’t quite believe that you need to convert to RM when you travel cos you’ll end up not buying anything. Worst, you’ll die of starvation too. ***and oh, since this is the first night in Phnom Penh, I figured it’s ok to splurge myself. Well, why not kan?
11. One more thing, whenever travel, I will make it a point not to eat at the same place. It’s more adventurous that why and you’ll get to taste new thing. Well, it’s more of a trial and error. Sometimes it suck, sometimes it expensive, and sometimes it’s both suck and expensive. Well, at least we learn something and not to repeat it again.
12. For Iftar on the second day, I went to Asmak Restaurant – this is upon recommendation of the locals here and of course from online reading. Many praised for its delicious, affordable, halal and authentic Khmer food.
13. Asmak is located in the middle of the city and tuck in among shops very near to a shopping complex (forgot the name). Just ask your tuk-tuk driver and they know where to take you. The ride from my place cost me USD2. PLEASE BARGAIN. Don’t just agree to whatever fare they charge you.
14. The food at Asmak was good. Feeling adventurous, I ordered for local dish; KHMER SOUP WITH DUCK BREAST. For drink it’s soda with lemon to quench my thirst after one full day at work, meeting, presentations and of course, fasting. The meal cost me USD4 and the drink is USD1. Ok la, still under USD10.
15. My host also informed that he could take me to the nearest mosque in town to experience how the Muslim here observed the Holy Ramadhan. I forgot the name of that place but definitely not Kampung Cham. I was told it's about 20 minutes drive from the city*.
*The plan did not materialise as I was caught up in networking meeting and it ended at 9 pm the following day. Well, I will surely make it a point to go there. I was told the freshwater fish there was delicious (not that I eat fish. Just saying).
11 Nov 2015
|The Travelling Beruang|
Well, hello again.
Look, I've told you that I'm such a sloth when it comes to update the blog. But, I will surely get it done. As promised, this is the second part of my so-called adventure in the land of Tomb Raider.
Where was I... I've covered the arrival and the airport and how to stay connected. Now, let's move to accommodation and others.
1. Always, always (repetition here meant it is significant) do some background check and research on the place you are heading to. With internet, there is practically no excuse at all not doing so. Worst case scenario, there's twitter, FB and other social media accounts with whom you can interact and get some information. Imagine what it's like back in the 80s or 90s where the internet was still unreliable and inaccessible. I had that experience and trust me, it takes double or triple the effort to look for information. What more the latest ones.
|The Tuk Tuk|
2. Ok, enough ranting. I've booked the accommodation through Agoda.com (you may also want to try trivago.com or booking.com - both are reasonable good). Since the payment and confirmation has been made in advance, the check-in process went very smoothly. I stayed at New York Hotel for good 7 days and 6 nights. The good thing about NY Hotel is that it is situated at the heart of Phnom Penh. So, you won't face any problem going in and out. Plenty of tuk tuk around for short excursion and the receptionists are exceptionally friendly. More importantly, they can understand and speak English.
3. IMPORTANT: I forgot to mention this. From the airport to the capital; on a normal, hassle free day it's going to take you 30 minutes. Since we arrived during peak hour (about 5 pm), the traffic was bad (well, not as bad as Bangkok). It took us 1 hour to reach the hotel.
NOTE: Leave early to the airport especially during peak hour. Trust me, you don't want to miss your flight.That is just bad.
4. Did I tell you about what happened to our taxi driver on our way to the hotel? He made a daring move by making an illegal U-turn in the middle of the main road. Perhaps, he didn't realize that there were few Traffic Police by the road side. As you guessed it, our taxi was stopped just when he made the turn. To our surprise, everything was settle in less than a minute. He gave the traffice USD1 and called it a day. Efficient deal but ethically wrong. Hmmm.
|The helmet free motorists.|
5. For motorist, helmet is a requirement but not a necessity. I would say, more than 80% motorists that I saw were without helmet. And the police seem to care less about it. So, why bother?
6. Here in Phnom Penh, there is no such a thing as one way or two way road. Anything and any way works. Motorists, again, happily ride in every direction. The best thing about this whole experience is, there was no cursing, no middle finger, no angry face and not even a honk. It's more like a mutual understanding and everyone give way to one another. Well, so long you don't hit anyone. hehehe.
7. Like Vietnam, it's a challenge to cross the road. The motors are never ending and waiting to cross is like an eternity. Just be brave and use the power of hand to stop and stall and slow the traffic. Trust me, they'll happily oblige. You will be safe.
To be continued.... again.