TRIP REPORT - KL/SIEM REAP/HONG KONG

Sep 8th, 2006, 08:45 PM
  #1  
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TRIP REPORT - KL/SIEM REAP/HONG KONG

This will be my first trip report so please excuse me if I lack writing skills...I owe it to all the people on this forum who took their time to share their travel experience...it definately saved a lot of time and money for me....

The trip was in mid August lasting 12 days all up..it was an all girls' trip so to all the blokes out there, don't say I didnt warn you!!! You will notice my report will have a lot of food and beauty segments...

MELB - KL
We flew with MAS to KL and spent 3 nights there, stayed at Capitol Hotel right in the city centre..very affordable 3 star hotel..we paid AUD$180 all up...we arrived in KLIA at 6am..this time instead of catching a cab to our hotel, we took the express train to Sentral train station, a 35 mins ride(tickets can be purchased at the baggage arrival hall by helpful porters and they will also help you with your luggage at the carousel and also to the platform, please do tip them)one way ticket costs RM35/AUD$12...from Sentral station we then caught a cab to our hotel which was about 10-15mins and it was RM10/AUD$3.50...we checked in at 7.30am and headed to Jalan Imbi for breakfast...there is a corner coffee shop that houses about 5 stalls selling their own specialities..we had Fried Kuey Teow (flat noodles fried with chillies,eggs,cockles,beanshoots and dark sauce)Pork Balls soup noodles and chee cheong fun (flat rice noodles rolled into cylindrical shapes and topped with hoisin/chilly sauce and served with prawn stuff vegetables...very yummy....
Then we went straight to our day spa, Angsana Spa at Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel and spent 4 hours there...we finished just in time for lunch...we went to KLCC Shopping Centre and had lunch at Madame Kwan on the 4th Floor...they serve nice hawker dishes..try the Nasi Bojari,cold beancurd and Assam laksa...they are always packed so try and go early or book in advance...
We spent the afternoon in the centre and when back to the hotel just before dinner..our friends in KL took us to this open air hawker centre..it was like a whole street with stalls selling all sorts of food..the street is called Wai Sek Kai.the lighting was very bad which was a good thing so then you wont be able to see what you dont want to see...we had heaps of food...but the highlight was the boiled cockles and they were served with the yummiest sauce..surprisingly our tummies were fine the next day...
the second day we went to a beauty clinic in Starhill Shopping centre and had IPL,a laser treatment to get rid of pigmentation,uneven skin tone, fine lines...the package included IPL,facial and hot stone massage for RM500/AUD$200...in Melbourne it costs AUD$250 just for IPL so no excuse not to do it...after that we were glowing!!!! Spent the rest of the day shopping...for all you shoppers out there, KL is the chepest for cosmetics,perfume and skincare...
The 3rd day was also spent shopping so I wont bore you with it....
Restaurant recommendations are Fong Lye - serves Taiwanese food, Bon Ton- serves local dishes,Scallini's - serves Italian...I will start on Siem Reap in my next report....

ladyice is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Delightful reading, ladyice! I've been to Kuala Lumpur twice and enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to your take on Siem Reap et al.
easywalker is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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nice start....thanks for sharring
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 10th, 2006, 03:47 AM
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Thanks for the support guys....now for the serious stuff...

Our next stop - Siem Reap

We purchased our fares online thru Air Asia before we left Melbourne...it was unbelievably cheap at AUD$100 including taxes for KL/SR/KL..it was like an E-ticket..we just had to show some ID upon check-in to get our boarding passes...This was our first time travelling with Air Asia and we were dreading the journey due to all the bad experiences we heard about flight delays and bad service but it didnt happen this time!!! One thing about flying with them is the airport is not at KLIA..it's called LCCT(Low Cost Carrier Terminal)...its a further 15kms from KLIA...so do allow more time upon your return when booking connecting flights coz you will have to get back to KLIA to catch that flight...transport is not a problem..I suggest the quickest way is by cab...its about RM20/AUD7...they also have shuttles for RM9/AUD$3...airport tax is RM35/AUD$12...

LCCT is only about 6 months old so everything still looks squeeky clean...there are eateries and convenience stores there so you wont starve....we went much earlier thinking we could get good seats as they are not allocated.....but being first timers we didnt even look at the queue signs..there are 2 queues..one normal and one for old people and of course we queued with the old folks and the worst thing was nobody said anything to us but instead they just stared at us...it got to our turn and the crew told us to go to the next queue...how embarrassing!!! Luckily it wasnt a full flight and we got to sit together....

It was boiling inside the plane...only the fan was on....they only turn the air conditioning on when the plane moves and that was still pathetic...you have to buy food and drinks on the flight...do try their popular Nasi Lemak...delicious!!! The flight took 2 hours and Siem Reap is 1 hour behind KL so it was a bonus....
-to be continued -
ladyice is offline  
Sep 10th, 2006, 05:59 AM
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thanks for this routing information...good to know except for the a/c info....what would happen if you were delayed and had to sit on the plane for 2 hours???
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 05:14 PM
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It's me again..sorry for the delay...

yes,rhkkmk...I wouldnt want to imagine what it would be like if we got stuck....the worst thing is we had to walk about 200 metres to the plane in the stifling heat and up the stairs...there were many red faces and panting in the plane especially the poor old folks...the beauty of budget travel!!!

We landed in Siem Reap airport at about 11am and it was a pleasant surprise to see a modern terminal building which we later discovered was only opened 6 months ago compliments of the French...the airport has 2 distinct sections, immigration and baggage...actually, and a tiny arrival hall.....as basic as it is....the system is very efficient...there about 3 officers proccessing visa applications..you are required to have a passport sized photo and $40 visa fee and the visa form...once you have submitted your application and paid, you stand on the side and wait for them to yell your name and hold up your passport for the world to see....the officers are dressed in military style uniforms but they are very friendly...a stone's throw away are 3 immigration counters...they seem to enjoy talking to tourists and funnily they have a webcam on the counter and you are told to smile before they take the shot!!!

We organized to have airport pickup by Rithy, Ponheary's driver and he was outside waiting with a big smile..he spoke enough English for us to converse which was good....the ride was only about 2o mins to the city centre...we booked FCC hotel for our 3 nights stay and got a low season offer- stay 3 nights pay for 2 and also 20% off the spa treatments which we did every night...
We checked in and freshened up and Rithy took us to a local restaurant..it was yummy...the dishes had a lot of Thai flavors, not surprising as they are so close to the Thai border...after that Rithy suggested we visit the floating village so off we went..it was about USD10 pp for the boat ride...it took about 20 mins to reach the pier but before that we had to pass some local villagers who lived on either side of the road ...the houses are built on stilts just with basic wood and coconut leaves as their roof...we were also told that in the wet months starting from november they have to move because the water level rises up to about 10 metres...
we got on a boat together with Rithy and the rower and started the journey to see how the locals live on the waters...Rithy told us that they are all Vietnamese refugees who look after themselves with no help from the government..they live for today and worry about tomorrow when it comes...they earn their living by selling fish that they catch to the markets or they have little sampans they float around in selling their specialities...the water is very murky and muddy and you see little kids swimming and the adults washing and cleaning in the water...they are also child beggars that float in round tubs and they approach your boat...it was a very depressing sight but one thing that stuck in my mind is that despite their hardship and poverty stricken life, all of them were smiling and happy!!!!
On the way back, we stopped at a crocodile restaurant..there was a pit with about 20 crocs sunbaking...we bought refreshments and looked around...no croc meat for us...
After that we felt like a hairwash and we couldnt find one single stand alone hair/beauty salon so we headed to Sokha Hotel spa, the only place that did hairwashes for USD10...we then headed back to Visaya Spa at FCC hotel for our 1.5 body treatment...we were so tired after that we ordered room service which wasnt nice!!! We slept at 10pm coz we had to wake up at 4.30am for sunrise at Angkor Wat
-to be continued-

ladyice is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 04:14 AM
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Rithy and Dara(Ponheary's brother) was waiting for us at 5am at reception...Ponheary was very sick when we were there so Dara was our guide for the whole trip...
The drive was about 20 mins to the ticket booth and we had on hand a passport photo for the temple pass..there are only 1 day or 3 day passes to choose from so if you have 2 days, tough luck, you have to pay for 3 days...
We drove further in and walked a bit.....we held our breath as we walked closer to the main entrance of Angkor Wat...the scenary was absolutely awesome...the moat surrounding the grounds is massive!!!!The sheer size of the site is unbelievable considering when it was built...
Dara warned us that August is not a good month to see sunrise as it is always cloudy...sadly we didnt get a glimpse of the sun at all...it was hiding behind think clouds..we left at 6.30am dissappointed...Rithy sent us back to the hotel to have breakfast...
-to be continued-
ladyice is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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ladyice, just for future reference, there are also one week passes, US$60.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 04:07 AM
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Enjoying your report...
sharon1306 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for posting this - we're planning to go next year.
Elizabeth_S is online now  
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