we left new friends in vietnam to meet up with an old friend in cambodia to start a super-leisure-two-country-valentines-day-chinese-new-year-tour with the one and only donna sharp. arrived, settled in our shared junior suite (thank you rewards points) then hit pub street for dinner at a khmer family restaurant – just easing into the adventures…
and by easing i mean we are really taking our time. day 2 included breakfast, spa treatments, enough pool time that we decided faith hill was the greatest singer of the 90s then mexican dinner @ viva close to (or on) pub street. post dinner we found a tranny show for $2 at the central market that included both foot rubs and a no rules policy against outside alcohol. post-dinner i ate a fried tarantula, not kidding, and we watched some cover band not kill it but donna got a free t-shirt out of the deal so we’ll call it a win? day 3 we really turned it up a notch…after hotel breakfast and spending most the morning and afternoon at the pool napping we took an ATV sunset tour in the countryside – which is the first and last time i will strap a go pro to my head. that night we went to a highly recommended dinner, which we would recommend in return, at the sugar palm – get the amok. went to bed early for our 430a wake up call…
$2 MASSAGE AND A TRANNY SHOW
HOGAN EATS A SPIDER
BUFFALO CROSSING ON THE ATV TOUR
SUNSET AND BUFFALOS
our last day we hired a driver, no guide, and did a full day tour of the temples in siem reap, this sounds super lux but its very cheap – like $20-30 pax depending on the driver. other alternatives are tuk-tuk’s or biking it and honestly the temples are too far away to take tuk-tuk’s and it’s too hot to bike. anyway, we started with sunrise at the most popular and well known temple angkor wat, and in my opinion a sunrise visit is not necessary. it’s a very over-hyped experience that’s depressingly packed with a demographic that looks and feels like any big music festival – hippies young and old, hipsters, frat dudes, basic b!tc#es, photographers and a handful of families that look a little out of place but in this case should be the norm. on top of that the environment isn’t really ideal for sunrise – it sits fairly deep in a wooded area with a gigantic moat that causes for thick fog. that said, the grounds are beautiful and you should absolutely visit but go ahead and sleep in. from there we drove to ta prohm which is famous for where a bunch of tomb raider scenes were filmed and is very-very cool. the entire temple is now surrounded by these crazy trees and it just makes for very unique architectural experience if nothing else. last stop, at this point we’re roasting, was angkor thom for a self-guided walking tour of the city (yes, it’s considered a city). the grounds are HUGE so we popped in the most popular of maybe 8 points of interest which basically included climbing different temples and taking pictures of the elephants. next morning we ran some quick souvenir bargaining (caroline got heated) and pharmacy related errands before heading to the airport.
SUNRISE IS KIND OF A BUMMER
landed in kuala lumpur and met up with one of donna’s co-workers, jon chee, we walked around bukit bintang (would recommend) that night to get a lay of the land then had dinner at opium then drinks at whiskey (no belle meade on the menu) on what john referred to as pub street for expats – changkat. at midnight chinese new year officially started as did the illegal fireworks. not illegal in the cherry bombs from the 70s that blow hands off sense, but illegal in that they’re outlawed but tolerated. next day we went to lot10 hutong for lunch. this place is some serious s#!t and if you ever come across one (guangzhou or kuala lumpur) you must go. basically this super rich chinese dude wanted all his favorite street food in one place and opened up a mall of sorts that hosts only street vendors and they have to qualify in order to be there…so you know it’s da bomb. after lunch we loaded up on groceries then introduced donna to the wonderful world of cupping. i don’t want to put words in donna’s mouth but i would be surprised if she’s continued her cupping practice in NYC. it’s obviously been a rough day so we headed back to the condo and made our first home cooked meal since australia.
JON AND THE WAITRESS EXPLAIN THE MALAYSIAN SALAD
FROM THE HOTEL IN CAMBODIA, BUT GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF HOW AWESOME CNY IS
our 3rd day started lazy and ended hard…the girls slept in while i woke early to get over to the towers to buy observations tickets for sunset which you have to buy in person. this mostly lazy day was accompanied by a walk thru the city, sunset at the petronas towers, bbq sting ray for dinner and a KTV till 330am with jon. our fourth day was supposed our most productive, culturally speaking, but after a late night of karaoke it wasn’t meant to be. we met up with john early and headed out of the city to the batu caves. culturally speaking this is a very interesting stop as it’s one of the oldest temples dedicated to buddha, includes a recently built 140ft buddha and a bat tour (which we didn’t partake). but hungover, the nearly 300 steps it takes to get there was tough on the system. logically we decided some comfort food was in order but the choice of johnny rockets only made things worse and we soon found ourselves back at the condo sleeping off the regret. most of us…i took advantage of the lull to get the dome cleaned up in a fancy asian mall with the worlds largest gumball machine and picked up some krispy kreme to complete the hangover. that night we met up with jon and his friends for a fancy malaysian meal at bijan and we were not disappointed. our last full day in KL we wanted to make up for lost time (see laziness) and created a self-guided cultural tour which included an indoor roller coaster, a walk thru chinatown and the central market, lunch back at lot10 and another foot rub. early dinner at quivo followed by a 5a wake up and we say goodbye to malaysia and goodbye to donna. 🙁