All posts by thisgirlabroad

What No One Tells You About Visiting Siem Reap: My personal reflections

When I came back from Cambodia, a lot of people asked me how I liked it and, likely surprising to most, I had a hard time articulating my feelings. I know lots of people absolutely love Siem Reap and for good reason – there was certainly many things I really enjoyed while I was there; the temples are beautiful, the history is rich, the food is great, and the people are lovely. But, as with any area (especially here in Southeast Asia), once it becomes popular with tourists, it tends to lose a lot of its authenticity. Essentially, the reasons why people originally fell in love with that place have been stripped away and replaced (ie westernized). This is how I feel about Siem Reap.

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What to eat in Cambodia: My top 10 picks

When I travel, I love to immerse myself in as much of the local culture as possible. One way I do that is through my stomach. I love local food and always look forward to trying regional dishes throughout the countries I visit. Everyone knows a handful of Thai and Vietnamese dishes, but I was less familiar with what Cambodian food was all about before my flight to Phnom Penh. I certainly ate my way through the country at various night markets, little hole-in-the-wall shops, and street stalls, and really came to appreciate the local food scene here. Though not necessarily my top choice for Southeast Asian food, I really loved all the local food I ate in Cambodia while I was there. If you’re wondering what to eat in Cambodia, here is a list of my 10 favorite dishes. Continue reading What to eat in Cambodia: My top 10 picks

“Should I Visit the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh?” YES. Here’s why.

The first thing people said to me after I told them I would be travelling to Phnom Penh was that I had to visit the Killing Fields. My response: a concerned look followed by a mumbled, “I’m not so sure I want to visit somewhere so sad on my holidays”. Most people followed up by telling me that, despite it being difficult, the whole experience was exceptionally well-done and moving. After getting a similar response from so many other travelers, I knew that I should stop Googling “should I visit the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh?” and just experience it for myself.

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The Pawn Brunch: Delicious dishes on the balcony of a Hong Kong heritage building

I’m always on the hunt for a good brunch spot in Hong Kong and had recently heard good things about The Pawn. Having only been there previously for drinks, I jumped on the opportunity to head into Wan Chai for a long, lazy Saturday of eating and drinking. If you’re like me and aren’t a fan of buffets where you’re constantly interrupting conversation to fill your plate up with mediocre food, then The Pawn brunch is a great option. The starters and dessert are brought to the table as sharing plates and each guest chooses their own main course. Throw in some fab balcony seating vibes and bottomless Moet & Chandon, and you’ve got yourself one fantastic brunch.

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Tycoon Tann: Modern Chinese cuisine in Central

Tycoon Tann has been around for a little while now, but they have recently added new Chinese/Western fusion dishes to their menu, so I figured it was about time I paid a visit. You’ve likely walked past Tycoon Tann multiple times thanks to its convenient location on Wellington Street in Central. Though it may look like a small bar at first glance, Tycoon Tann actually has three floors. Each floor is its own cozy, modern, and intimate dining space, which could be a great spot to go for a date or for a celebration since your dinner will be far from cheap.

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Michelin Guide Dining Series: Chef Chen Kentaro of Shisen Hanten, Singapore

The new Michelin Guide Dining Series, Hong Kong and Macau is making it much easier for you to experience some of the cuisine found at various Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. Launched earlier this year, the dining series will showcase a different Michelin-starred chef each month for a 2 – 4 day pop-up dining experience in Hong Kong or Macau. I was lucky enough to partake in Chef Chen Kentaro of Shisen Hanten’s (two Michelin-starred Sichuan restaurant in Singapore) six-course modern Sichuan dinner with wine pairing.

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Dragon-i: New dinner tasting menu in an unexpected place

Talk of Dragon-i usually surrounds a few stories of late night misadventures where bottles were bought and far too much money was spent. It’s safe to say that most people in the city associate this well-known establishment with Russian models and messy, pretentious nights out. Dragon-i is now working a new angle to entice people to pop over for dinner well before the debauchery begins. In case you were unaware (as I was), Dragon-i actually serves dinner (not just all-you-can-eat dim sum) and they’ve just introduced a new dinner tasting menu for 4 or 6 people for a bargain. Only the test of time will tell if peoples’ outlook on Dragon-i shifts from a late night club to a restaurant/club.

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Neak Pean, Ta Som, Pre Rup: Day 2 temple tour in Siem Reap (Part 2)

This is a continuation from my previous post on the first two temples (Banteay Srei and Preah Khan) I visited during the second day of my temple-hopping adventures in Siem Reap. After having seen five temples in the last 24-hours (I went to Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm the previous day), I had three more temples to tackle: Neak Pean, Ta Som, and Pre Rup. Despite being hot, hungry, and tired, I was looking forward to cramming in a few more temples before my Cambodian adventures were over.

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Banteay Srei & Preah Khan: Day 2 temple tour in Siem Reap (Part 1)

You’ll likely need at least two days set aside to tour the temples of Siem Reap. On the first day, I toured through Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm; the three main temples that most people know about. On the second day, I went to five different temples, the first of which (Banteay Srei) is about a 45 minute tuk tuk drive away from the city center. After spending two full days visiting eight different temples, I did feel deja vu on more than a few occasions, but overall I’m glad I chose the two day tour as opposed to only one day. The temples you see on the second day are quite different than the three main temples and, except for the first temple, they were much less crowded.

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TokyoLima: Casual Nikkei cuisine in Hong Kong

Having just been to Pici Pasta Bar, another of Pirata Group’s newest restaurants, I was keen to try their other new concept: TokyoLima. I heard rave reviews from friends who had tried their Nikkei cuisine (a blend of Japanese and Peruvian food), I was ready for an evening of strong cocktails, unique fusion dishes created by Peruvian Chef Arturo Melendez (formerly of Chicha), and great vibes. All of which TokyoLima delivered.

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