6/29/2014

Return to Angkor - Day 1

Me and the bf went on a 3D2N holiday to Siem Reap along with his cousin and his high school friend. It was their first time and my second time, yet I was really excited because my first trip was really good so I was looking forward to Angkor goodness! 

We got our flight + hotel package via AirAsiaGo; the total price was RM506 per pax (pretty cheap!). The package also included buffet breakfast and airport transfer. Since it's an AirAsia flight, we departed from the new KLIA2: I must say, KLIA2 is way better than LCCT - there is better ease of transit, directions are clear - yet the facility "feels" old; like it was rushed to completion. But oh well, basic facilities sufficed when one boards a 6.30am flight! 

We reached the Siem Reap International Airport and quickly got into the hotel van. The driver, Mr. Bros (what a name) chatted during the 15 min drive to the hotel. And what a hotel. Borei Angkor Resort & Spa isn't a new establishment but they underwent a massive renovation and it is a gorgeous hotel. There's a faint drift of lemongrass (possibly from their in-house spa) and water features are everywhere - from the small ponds and the side waterfalls - there's also a welcoming performance with a xylophone-like instrument. Truly enchanting! 

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We were interested to upgrade our rooms to their new Trademark rooms (bigger + full access to spa etc); a full upgrade was not given but we got the rooms and man it was nice! We discussed our holiday plans with their Tourism Desk: since we planned to go temple visiting the next day, we requested to swap the breakfast buffet from day 2 to day 1. The hotel staff were accommodating and we went for breakfast. There was a variety of Western and local dishes; the noodle station was a hit for the boys!


Full from breakfast, the hotel staff informed that our rooms were ready! Yay! We checked in and rested a while before heading out to the Old Market and Pub Street. Tip: bargain hard! At one stall, we bought a t-shirt for $4 per piece but at another stall, we bought 10 pieces for $10! Stuff to look out for: t-shirts, traditional white cotton shirts (note that the fabric doesn't stretch well, so choose the right size), local coffee (the drip type is the best, but the 2-in-1 packets aren't bad), nangka chips etc. 


We tried street food like the pork sausages below; 2 sticks for $1 - cheap!


One thing I didn't get to try was the Tomb Raider cocktail at the Red Piano; I've been to the restaurant last year so I know the food is decent. The cocktail was refreshing with hints of lime - yay checked off! 
 
We had the must-have dishes: Amok fish curry and Lok lak beef! 
Then back to the streets where deep fried frogs, spiders and crickets were on sale, as well as fruit popsicles - we had the latter as none of us had the courage/palate for the former! 

These are new additions to the Old Market scene so I was pleasantly surprised. Now after all that walking around shopping and eating, the next thing to do is get a massage! We found a parlor that provided 1 hr foot massage for $5; it was pretty good and relaxing, despite the parlor being located at the traffic junction!


Before we knew it, it was nightfall and we went back to the streets. Another new addition is a road stall by a Filipino guy selling coconut shake. He blends ice, coconut flesh, milk, syrup and voila - a cool cool treat for $1! :D

We also had fried noodle from the street, it was made on the spot so it was super fresh! Delicious and springy noodles! :D

I decided that I will hit the stuff I missed the last trip on this one, so checked off Tomb Raider cocktail, on to Happy Pizza! The pizza is drizzled with marijuana; there are a few restaurants opposite the Provincial Hospital. We went to Special Happy Pizza; it had a nice, unassuming entrance and the pizza was pretty good!

Different people have different reaction to marijuana; the bf felt relaxed once we left the premise, I was sleep-blabbering, and the friend was on a buzz the whole day. Always be careful when you try substances; luckily my experience was an innocent one :D We returned to the hotel and I had a really really good sleep before the early wake up call the next day at 5am - the temples beckoned us in Day 2 :)

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