15 Days DIY Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand (Part 2 of 3)

Ms. San, our new friend in Chau Doc helped us to book a speed boat to Phonm Penh. The price was 25 USD. Expensive indeed but during the journey you can see the excited children saying hi and giving you a high five. The journey took around 5-6 hours. The crew assisted us to get the stamp out of Vietnam Immigration. It was very easy since all we needed to was to wait and queue to enter Cambodia.

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at Cambodia border entrance

The night before, I asked my hotel in Phnom Penh, Rachana Hostel, if they could provide me a free pick-up. And surprisingly, they wanted to pick us up for free and they did it. The tuk-tuk driver was waiting for us when we arrived at the harbor. We checked-in with no difficulties and got the comfy room. We also booked the tour to go to Silk Island on that day and another tour to go to Russian Market, Killing Fields, etc at the following day. Since the wind during the journey was quite strong, I planned to take a nap before going around. However, the time was limited so without resting enough, my mother and I continued our journey to Silk Island.

We missed Wat Phnom, the eldest temple in town, since we were so tired. After going back to the hotel, I took an aspirin and got a very early sleep.

The following day, we took another tuk-tuk journey to some landmarks. I just knew the story about the genocide and khmer rouge so I felt shocked when I visit Tuol Seng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields. šŸ˜¦ Yet my mom knew and she felt sorry.stellycious-cambodia-5

Then we went to Russian Market. The price was quite pricey for the souvenirs so we just tried the local foods. So many foreigners. We bumped into some foreign who seemed joining a food tour or cooking tour for they bought the vegetables mentioned by the guide.

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At the end, we dropped-by the national palace and museum. It was actually very close to our hostel, but since we intended to save our energy and the weather was so hot, we asked the tuk-tuk driver to wait while we took some picture. šŸ™‚

It’s a long post only for Phnom Penh City. Later, the bus we booked Cambodia VIP Van to continue our journey to Siam Reap.

Find your hotel in Phnom Penh via Agoda here.

To be continued

 

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15 Days DIY Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand (Part 1 of 3)

Almost half a year since I traveled to Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand with my Mom using this itinerary. It was a 15-days journey, 7 nights in Vietnam, 5 nights in Cambodia, 3 nights in Thailand. I forgot some details of this trip but I would retrieve some important memories, such as the travel agent, restaurant, transportation, and hotels.

Day 1 : Arrived at Saigon Airport at noon. We took the bus that dropped us to the hotel area, Cong Quynh, District 1. After we placed our bags, we asked the receptionist how to go to Saigon China Town, Ben Thanh, and Heritage Walk (Reunification palace, Cathedral). We just needed to walk around 15 minutes to get the bus number 1 to China Town and got the same bus to go back to the hotel and continue to Ben Thanh and Heritage Walk. I stayed at Madam CUC 184 Hotel there. They made us a cup of Vietnamese coffee for breakfast. Very original.

Find your hotel in Ho Chi Minh at Agoda.

Day 2 : Cu Chi Tunnel and Saigon City Center.

We booked a tour from the hotel. I forgot the price but it was very affordable. Together with any other tourists and informative tour guide, we explored the Chu Chi tunnel until noon. We arrived at our hotel around 2pm

Day 3 : Moved to Can Tho and join a food tour in the evening & Day 4 : Can Tho Floating Market in the morning (book a tour from hotel) and enjoy the riverside in the evening.

The receptionist gave us direction to take the bus to station where we could get transportation to Can Tho. Can Tho is a small and lazy city. We chose there because we intended to cross the Cambodia border via Chau Doc. The decision was right. We stayed at Hotel Xoai. We joined a food tour at night we arrived and a Mekong floating market tour at the following day. The price was cheap enough since they managed it by themselves. We also hired English-speaking guide. It’s worth the money. The boat captain was very friendly and helpful. We recommended you to give tips for the boat captain even though you have paid the tour. I mean, it’s holiday, right? They also helped us to book the bus (Futa) to Chau Doc. The bus agency picked us up from Hotel Xoai and dropped us right in front of our hotel at Chau Doc. Total service.

Find your hotel in Can Tho at Agoda.

Day 5 : Moved to Chau Doc and relax

Just after we arrived at Chau Doc, we felt happy since our hotel has balcony facing local market. What a view. We walked around at noon at the riverside and enjoy the sunset at Victoria resort. We stayed at Trung Nguyen Hotel there. There was a local restaurant served Chinese-Vietnamese food. So great.

Day 6 : Chau Doc Morning Market and Sam Mountain.

Another lazy city. Nothing much can do. We followed the pace, grabbed a taxi bike to explore the town and book a ride from a local friend, Ms. San, to Sam Mountain. From Sam Mountain, we can see the Cambodia land from Vietnam.

Find your hotel in Chau Doc at Agoda.

Next, we got help again from Ms. San to book a speed boat to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We’re ready for the next adventure!

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with Ms. San before boarding off to Phnom Penh

To be continued

Cikini Culinary Day

One that you should not miss when in Jakarta is to experience the culinary. And, Cikini is one of popular places for tasty, tempting, savory variety of culinary. This time we pampered ourselves to eat at some long-run restaurants at Cikini. Sadly, we had a very limited stomach that we couldn’t handle much food, but here we go, our culinary trip!

Gado2 Bon Bin (map)

Gado-gado is a local saying of mix vegetables with peanut sauce. This restaurant has been established since the 60’s. It’s very popular, even though the place is still the same since the beginning. Small and very intimate. Of course favorite dish at this place is gado-gado, but you should also try Es Cendol.

Tjanang Ice Cream (map)

Next stop we chose to have desserts. And luckily around the corner near to Gado-Gado BonBin there’s a stand selling vintage ice cream. This ice cream place has been around since the 70’s. It has a variety of tastes, such as: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, avocado, coconut,Ā or you can also choose to mix all.stellycious-cikini-culinary-4

Soto H.Ma’ruf (map)

For our last stop, we decide to go more vintage. So we chose to have a traditional BataviaĀ cuisine. We went to a restaurantĀ located near Planetarium. The cuisine recipe in this restaurant has been inherited since the 40’s.stellycious-cikini-culinary-2and finally, here’s a preview inside of the planetarium mentioned above.stellycious-cikini-culinary-6

Contributor: Mark B. Salendu

Click here to book a base camp and unlock countless experience in Jakarta via Agoda.

Jogging @Jakarta (part 1)

After Christmas day, we needed to do some workout. While still having the atmosphere of Christmas, we decided to do outdoor activities. So, we jogged to three city parks in Jakarta, They are Taman Menteng (map), Taman Suropati (map), Taman Situ Lembang (map)

The excitement was not really high when we arrived at Taman Menteng. It’s a beautiful park with many benches, children playground, basketball court, and a fountain. But, it doesn’t have jogging track. We directly passed the park and went to Taman Suropati.

Taman Suropati is convenient to jog. It also have some fountains and bird cages.

After running few laps, we progressed to the last stop, Taman Situ Lembang. I love this park most compared with the other two. Visitors can go fishing or just having a picnic.

The jogging was fun. Can’t wait for another jogging at the otherĀ parks in Jakarta! šŸ™‚

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Bogor Botanical Garden

Back to West Java and go green at the end of Year 2016! We planned to have picnic and photo-hunting at Bogor Botanical Garden (official websiteĀ 1Ā / official website 2). It’s just a one-day trip and we’ve planned it since 3 months ago (September). Here comes the day, last Sunday, 18122016. We started from Tanah Abang station at 7 am and it took about 1.5 hour to reach Bogor station. From there, we walked around 10-15 minutes to Gate 2 of Bogor Botanical GardenĀ (map). The entrance fee was 15K IDR @person.

Palm Tree Road

Palm Tree Road

At Reinwardt Monument..

At Reinwardt Monument..

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First Picnic Spot

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Mexican Garden

Mexican Garden

Meeting Mr. President, Jokowi on the way out

Meeting Mr. President, Jokowi on the way out

my picnic date

my date at second picnic spot

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Jatim Park 2 + Eco Green Park

Booked another train ticket from Surabaya to Malang and hit the road using public transport to Batu, Paris van East Java. It took 4 hours journey (2 hours for train, 1 hour for a car from Malang Station to Landungsari Terminal, and 1 hour for Landungsari to Jatim Park 2).

Note: Get any public transport to Landungsari. From Landungsari, get the yellow car and it will bring you to Jatim Park II). Before we entered the park, we looked for a homestay there. Public transports were only available until 6 pm. That’s why we needed a room close to the park. We stayed in Griya Imafa House which was located exactly in front of the park. The guesthouse was perfect. I paid for a family room, big enough for 6 person only for 350K. It’s on the third floor and there was a balcony to see the mountain view and a back window to get a view of another mountain.

Shortly, we spent the rest of the day at the park. (Entrance fee 125K per person). The zoo was INCREDIBLY AWESOME. This is the best zoo I’ve ever visited so far!

stellycious_eco_green_park_batu_secret_zoo_1-jpgstellycious_eco_green_park_batu_secret_zoo_6-jpgstellycious_eco_green_park_batu_secret_zoo_5-jpgstellycious_eco_green_park_batu_secret_zoo_3-jpgstellycious_eco_green_park_batu_secret_zoo_4-jpgIt’s easy to find a restaurant for dinner around the guesthouse. Batu has cold weather and people love to eat hot meatballs to get warm. We, no exception. šŸ™‚

We rested well that night. So cozy. No breakfast provided but we no worries since the restaurant was already open quite early.

Around 10 am, we caught a public car to bring us back to Landungsari. We need to reach the Malang station at 2 pm for a train back to Surabaya.

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Malang: The Ancient Town of East Java

The ancient townĀ in East Java, Malang!

It was a Saturday in September. I caught the train (Bima 44) with a friend from Gubeng Station, Surabaya at 6:25 am to Malang Train station around 8 am. Just after we arrived, we walked around the town square, Alun-alun Tugu. (map)stellycious-malang_tuguIt was a beautiful day with clear sky.

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Malang City Hall

One of recommended places to visit is Tugu Hotel (map). It was actually a hotel run by theĀ successor of the rich man. The story was that he had sugar factories at the old time and marry several girls. If you are interested with some antiques collection, just come to this hotel, buy something from the restaurant, and the tour guide will show you.

After we finished the tour, we walked to Museum Malang Tempo Dulu (map). The entrance fee was 15K. It was worth the penny. It told me the history of Malang from the ancient times, the ages of Dutch and Japan colonialism, around Independence day, until now. It’s a good time spending there.

Coming to Inggil Restaurant (map) for lunch was a brilliant move, as well. It’s located beside the museum and the food was tasty. They also decorated this antique restaurant gorgeously.

Coincidentally, after we had lunch and looked for some snacks, we crossed Kampung Warna Warni, Colourful Village. It’s new and the location was still not registered on google maps when I touched the land. So it was good to find it. The entrance fee was 2K per person. (map)

stellycious-malang_tugu_6stellycious-malang-tugu-7Time’s up and we got ourselves back on the train to Surabaya. We left Malang around 2 pm. Ciao bella..

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