Saturday, June 20, 2015

Siem Reap: Stay where, Eat what, Do what

Back for the last tiny bit of Siem Reap... Essentials...
There are many different small hotels in town, not much high rise building hotels around.
We restricted our budget because in Cambodia, most hotels are not expensive. A comfortable 3 star probably cost around USD 30 per room per night, which to me, is one of the cheapest around Asia!
Of course you can choose 5 star hotels but we opted for a mid range and near to the volunteer place.
Frangipani Villa Hotel is located approximately 5min walk to the night market.
It is a decent room like a normal hotel, with a swimming pool.
Its surrounding outside the hotel is spacious and decorated in baby blue against the wooden furniture.
Quiet environment.
However, as the period that we go was the worst timing with super hot sun, about 39 degrees, most aircon didn't felt like aircon. We had to keep the aircon running the whole day so then the sleep at night is better.
We actually changed room because our aircon was worst than our friend's. Their service was very prompt and changed for us immediately. 
Please test the aircon first.
Unfortunately, the bed isn't very comfortable.
On our last 2 nights, we changed hotels as we wanted to explore different hotels.
We walked further down the street and went into Reflections Art Boutique Hotel.
This hotel, is unique by the way they decorate each room.
In fact, they let us choose the rooms we want, like what theme we wanted to stay in.
This hotel is smaller than Frangipani in terms of the land area. The swimming pool is also much smaller.
For the room itself, my theme was a forest theme located at the first floor.
As usual, the aircon isn't strong for the crazy weather, just like the first hotel. You have to keep it on the whole day. And they understand because they know it's super hot outside.
I prefer this hotel because its bed is more comfortable, thicker mattress.


One of our friend stayed inside this Barbie doll theme. Didn't dare to go in because I think it's scary.
Outside already all Barbie doll heads...
Khmer food is their traditional cuisine. Their famous dish is AMOK, cooking curry in banana leaves and with coconut cream.  
Below is an AMOK set we tried along the night market.
It has fish, chicken, pork, and shrimp. All with different types of curry.
It does taste very similar to Thai food, just that this is probably less spicy and more sweet.
Also, in most restaurants, most dishes that you order comes with a set of rice. So, please tell them if you don't need the rice. It's ALOT.  
Do try at least once if you are in Cambodia, their local Khmer food.
Another local street food, and it's super local because it's slightly far out. You need to hire/ book a tuk tuk to bring you there and back because over there, all tuks tuks are already hired.
and it's tough to get one.
It's called Road 60. Over there, it's a huge pasar malam where you see many other local food.
The local brought us there for the very nice "laksa".
Its like laksa except that the curry is like thai green curry.
Doesn't look appetizing, but it's really surprisingly delicious!
Just go towards a road where you see people are seated down on mats. 
We went to this auntie because the local tried most stalls and found hers the best. haha... 


When she scoop the curry, it looks very dry, but just mix with the noodle and the gravy will start coming out.
Like this!

Another local food is this kuey called "non ba chang"..
I cannot really describe what is the ingredient, but it's really nice with the sauce.
We couldn't have enough that the local had to go get another box.
Do cater about 2-3 hrs to walk the whole street, and eat along the way. :)
Upstairs Café
Located along Wat Bo road, very near to Reflections Art Boutique Hotel.
Supposedly they serve good coffee and cakes here, but because of the unforgiving weather, we couldn't bring ourselves to drink coffee.
Hence, we order cooling drinks - imagine ME, drink coke?! Tell you, shiok. haha..
That aside, we ordered their popular chocolate cake which is good! Not too sweet!
The texture is like brownie.
If you have free time to pass, you can sit and surf net using their free wifi.

Blue Pumpkin
Blue Pumpkin is located along Hospital Street. Next to the Provincial hospital.
Or, you can always ask the locals, they know where it is. This place is just too famous already.
They have bakery and some food, but what's famous is their ice cream.
I think the ice cream business in Siem Reap is definitely earning big bucks. The weather is too hot that everyday I wanna eat ice cream. haha
I tried their dark chocolate and mango sorbet, it's great! I tasted the durian but didn't really like it.
Slightly further down the blue pumpkin, across the street, there is a Gelato Lab.
This place is heaven. My favourite chill out place.
Their ice cream, I prefer to blue pumpkin.
Most of all the flavours are good too. They have one section flavours with milk and one without milk. I love their fruits flavour (without milk) - Mango, Lime (super refreshing!) and their dark chocolate.
Before we came back home, I had to purposely go over and have my last cup so satisfy myself. haha.
Please try this!!! 
Their coffee, is great too! I tried their blend from Guatemala. :)

One of the special activities we did was the horse riding at The Happy Ranch.
All their horses were very well groomed!
We took the Countryside and village ride where we rode out to the village where you can see people living there with rice fields and also animals they grow for milking and other food cultivation.
We got to ride to sunset so its a beautiful scenery to admire.  
We also learnt the basics to ride a horse! Like how to stop the horse, tell the horse to go left or ride, and to gallop!!!
But the galloping hurts my butt. haha... 
Siem Reap may not be the place where people think of horse riding, but here, scenery is different, and prices are more affordable than elsewhere.



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