Posts tagged: pool

Siem Reap: Living Within Our Means

By , July 6, 2010 4:30 pm

Without hesitation, Boris says, “I wish for a tartiflette.” In return, I say, “I wish for foie gras.” We would go back and forth until we cannot take it anymore and our mouths are covered with drool. The game makes no sense but it helps us remember home.

So the day after bicycling around Angkor Park, we wanted to rewards ourselves. While we could not have a tartiflette, we heard about the rooftop pool at the Terrasse des Elephants Hotel. If you spend $10 each at the restaurant, you have free pool and wifi access. This was a much cheaper option than actually being guests of the hotel.

For lunch, we had chicken curry with white rice. To our surprise, the curry was quite excellent. Afterwards, we walked up many flights of stairs. When we arrived at the rooftop, we were very happy with what we saw.

There was a large pool, garden, city view, and everything looked new. I even peaked into a few of the rooms and they were all carefully designed and each came with its own altar, fountain, or pond. As there were no other guests, we had the entire rooftop to ourselves. At noon, we took a tea break and emailed some friends to join us. It was the best $20 we spent.

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Ko Samui: Welcome to Paradise

By , April 15, 2010 9:26 am
Arriving on the island of Ko Samui is a real reward. After more than 15 hours on bus, boat and getting settled in our villa, turquoise waters are finally here.

We rented scooters for the week so we can have easy access to the island.  With 7 people, scooters are also easier to manage.  Every time we decide to ride, there is only one goal in mind, find the best beach.

Our mornings start with our favorite chocolate cereal, which we were so happy to find at the local supermarket, Tesco.  Then it is time to cool off in the pool since mornings are very hot.

One of our first lunch spots brought us to this cute spot on the beach where you eat in small bungalows.  Maybe it is a tourist trap but it was relaxing to be in the shade on the beach even if it was for a drink.  We noticed prices are about double what they were in Bangkok, but still very affordable.

We then hop on our scooters and ride away.  One of our first adventures led us to the Na Muang 2 waterfall. When we arrived at the beginning of the trail, we met a dozen elephants.  We first started taking pictures of them from afar until a ranger told us we could touch them, except for the elephant with the large tusks.  We were all fine with just touching the baby elephant.  Being so close to the elephants and being able to touch them was a great experience.  After that, we just felt bad about riding them.

We continued on with the rest of the trail to the main attraction.  The waterfall was not that large or anything spectacular.  The hike itself was a lot nicer.  There was plenty of sunlight and then darkness the next minute.  We didn’t realize how quick sunset occurs on Ko Samui and the mosquitoes did not spare us.  It was extremely slippery on the rocks and one of our members fell and skidded down several rocks.  Luckily after a few hours of rest, he was ok.

At night, we would try out new restaurants.  We have two favorites.  The Lonely Planet recommended Starfish and Coffee restaurant.  It is located in Fisherman’s Village, which is close to our house.  It is a very nice restaurant catered for foreigners.  I tried a shark with garlic entree and it was delicious.  Of course all our meals are paired with a fruit shake.  The Starfish shake was the best out of everything we tried.

The other restaurant we visit a lot, thanks to Anthony, is called “Le Virage”.  It is owned by a Frenchman and every entree is safe and yummy, especially the pizzas.  How good it is to eat cheese again.  Our waitress there is super friendly and funny so it is great to know a local familiar face.

The evenings end with some more pool time.  It is nice to be in the pool and listen to music.  At night, you can sit at the shallow part of the pool and stare into the lit sky.  It’s been a while since we have seen stars so clearly.

It smells like vacation here in Ko Samui!

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