Once our Air Asia plane touched down in Cambodia, I knew that this place was sure going to be an adventure. The first thing I inferred from Cambodia that it is rich in culture. When you first walk in the airport, you see a large bronze Buddha. This Buddha was spectacular, unique, none I have ever seen before. We planned to get visas on arrival, so we headed to the visa application line. It was a very fast-moving process, I was so surprised! The fee for the visa was 30 USD per person. The reward was far greater than the fee in my opinion. You got a sparkling visa stamp and a pass to an adventure. Once we stepped foot outside the airport, we were greeted by a friendly man from Golden Temple and my dad (which was a suprise). Golden Temple is the name of our hotel for the trip. Upon entering the van that was waiting for us, we were offered beverages. Along the way, the friendly man pointed out sights and even briefly explained Cambodia’s history. The ride lasted for about 20 minutes until we arrived at this nature looking entrance. It was beautiful!
There were steps leading across a small pond to the reception desk. One of the staff members stood there and gave us the Cambodian welcome. He directed us towards the seating area and checked us in efficiently. After we checked in, we were shown around the premises including the swimming pool
and the computer area.
Finally we were shown to our room (yay!). When we arrived in our room, it felt modern and homey (perfect!).
The bed even revealed bits and pieces of the Cambodian religious culture. The culture was displayed through the lotus flowers that were placed so carefully on the bed.
The lotus flower is Buddhist. Next the hotel staff explained to us how to do this, if this was free, if you need any help and so on and so on. We settled down for the night in our rooms and the staff brought up our luggage. But wait… they brought up delicious welcome drinks, sticky rice, fruit, and nuts. So delicious! I would give today a thumbs up. Goodnight!
Welcome to Pattaya, a resort town in Thailand, Pattaya is our next stop. We left bright and early this morning to go to the bus stop. Since our apartment, is within walking distance from the Ekamai Bus Terminal, it was a convinient choice for this weekends travels. We bought our tickets for the express bus to Pattaya, it only costs 3 USD. You can also take a taxi, we have taken taxis to Pattaya many times. The taxi fare costs around $30 USD. After we boarded the bus, the first thing I noticed was the tempature. It’s December, and even Thailand is getting a bit colder. So why is the AC turned down so cold? It felt like Antartica in there. I assumed that they’d want to save money instead of run the AC. But I assumed wrong. So lesson learned, next time I take the bus I’ll make sure to pack a warm sweatshirt. Once we arrived in Pattaya at 9:30, we encountered many taxi drivers and song thaew drivers(which is an open pickup truck that seats about 12 people). We chose to take the song thaew. The weather was perfect and the breeze was just right. The driver took us right to our hotel which is named Hard Rock. When we arrived, we were greeted by very friendly staff. Whenever, we go to Pattaya we always stay at the Hard Rock; we’ve just had really great experiences. The check in staff member’s name was Nastya, she is very kind and helpful. Since we are a Hard Rock member, our room was available then. We were able to change and start our day! One thing I absolutely love about Hard Rock is that at their pool they have activities. Their first activity that we participated in was rock climbing. It was so satisfying to ring the bell at the top of the rock wall and have everyone cheering for you. Also, in some of the activities you can win a free drink. For kids, a soft drink and for adults a beer. It is a great reward for all your hard work if you win. It was a great atmosphere. For lunch, we ate outside of the a Hard Rock Cafe. I got the Classic Club Sandwhich, which is super filling and so delicious. We participated in many more activities throughout the afternoon including golf, mini olympics, water polo, and bingo. In bingo, I wasn’t so lucky but my brother was. As the sun set, our group head out for church. We chose a Catholic Church named Saint Nikolas. We took a song thaew, it was very easy and efficient. The church was quite small but very welcoming. After church, we walked for a very long time trying to find some type of transportation to take us back to our hotel. After what seemed like 30 minutes we found a song thaew. It seemed that the driver either forgot we were still in the back or got lost because we knew we weren’t in the right area. So, my mom pulled out google maps and helped the driver find the way to the hotel. We were so pooped at night, that we just treated ourselves to room service. The room service was so good, me and my brother shared the apple cobbler. BTW, birthday cake❌ apple cobbler✅. Overall, Pattaya is so far, so good. Although Pattay has a bad reputation with some people, personally I don’t see anything wrong with Pattaya.
After school, we took a taxi from GrabTaxi to the Don Mueang Airport. I recommend you take the tollway because it is easier and faster to get to your destination. Since, Bangkok has very congestive traffic in certain areas, especially downtown. We were lucky to get a super nice and professional driver to take us to the airport. At Don Mueang, there is a lot of food options, you can even get food before you check in. They even have Subway and Garret’s popcorn, which are two of my favorite restaurants. At Subway, I got a delicious foot long sandwich. For dessert, we got Garret’s cheese popcorn, I do not recommend this popcorn since it is too cheesy. Once we checked in and went through immigration, there were more food options including Krispy Kreme. Krispy Kreme is now serving holiday donuts! About time, Krispy Kreme! My favorite Christmas donuts have tons of frosting! My favorite holiday for Krispy Kreme donuts is Halloween. I like Halloween donuts because they have my favorite donut, the green monster. Our airline is Air Asia, Air Asia has many good deals. For the good deals, the tickets are inexpensive but most of the time you take a bus to the plane. When the bus turned, my mom lost her balance. So be careful on the bus! Finally, we boarded the ad covered plane. After landing, we had to take the tram to immigration. At immigration, we got a loose immigration sticker. The valuable sticker is so small that you can easily lose it. We decided to take the airport train to our hotel. I recommend the airport train because it is comfortable, had wifi, and the seats were very spacious and relaxing. We took the airport train to the Hong Kong station. At the Hong Kong station, we needed to take the blue bus that said H1. Our hotel was only two stops on the blue, H1 bus. Our hotel is named iClub. We checked in, we got two rooms that were ‘connecting’. Once we got up to our room, we realized that the rooms weren’t ‘connecting’. When we checked in, we thought the rooms were inner connecting via a door between rooms. But what we got was totally different, their idea of ‘connecting’ was side by side rooms. Wow! On the bright side, the rooms were very modern and the view was nice. Inside the room, the bed was pushed up to the window sill, so you could fall asleep to a scenic Hong Kong night skyline. Overall, today was one heck of a day!
The staff runs pool activities mostly for the kids but some of the activities like water arobics included mostly adults. For adults, the pool offers a bar, this bar is situated on the waters edge so guests do not have to get out of the pool. I recommend you order the Oreo lover which is an Oreo milkshake, it was so delicious! For lunch, we grabbed food at the hard rock café. I ordered chicken fingers and a Coke. I was under the impression and so were the others and my table party that the soft drinks were bottomless. When we received our check we were surprised that the staff have charged us extra for refills. Most of the hard rock café locations that we have been to do not charge for extra refills. We explained this to our waiter and he offered no explanation instead he just highfived one of the guest in our table party. When we were leaving another waiter asked us how experience was and my moms said we had a bad experience and the waiter simply stated and you. At the door was stationed another waiter who asked us how our experience was and again we told him we had a bad experience and again the waiter said thank you. I don’t get it. Is that their goal? Is their goal for their customers to have a bad experience at the restaurant? Because it sure seems that way. We later learned that the management was different at both the restaurant in the hotel. The restaurant should adopt the hotel management, because that management seems better. In the hotel, we ordered milkshakes. Do not be fooled by the word, this milkshake is so different from the milkshakes in the US. This milkshake that I had received, was a very milky milkshake. I’m not complaining I’m just giving a heads up if you happen to order one. We got room service and decided to call it a night. Finishing up the day we watched one of the free movies that this hotel offers which was Ice Age collision course. I grew up watching turn Ice Age movies and I was severely disappointed watching this movie, for me it didn’t have a lot of action and it isn’t seem to keep me engaged and wanting more. For now, goodnight!
On Friday we left Bangkok in the afternoon and took the airport rail link to the Suvarnambumi airport. Our flight was from Bangkok to Singapore to Bali. We flew through Tiger Air it is a good price and a good overall experience, but taking buses from the plane to the airport and back gets very tiring. Also if you fly Tiger Air and want a good price, the good price plane tickets are the ones that have a long layover. The Singapore airport is so cool! The airport had a movie theater, computer area, a garden, and a gaming area. Our layover was very long, but it didn’t seem long because there was so much stuff to do in the airport. Plus, if you are tired then don’t worry about sleeping on the uncomfortable chairs meant for sitting, there is a sleeping area with mini beds. You should be aware that the Singapore airport is super cold, so you should bring a long sleeve jacket. No wonder the Singapore airport’s Starbucks is so busy. Singapore also has a Mc. Donald’s where you can order my favorite, Hotcakes. We flew out the next morning and we arrived in Bali late in the morning. Our hotel was Hard Rock Bali, it was relatively close to the airport. The staff at the hard rock were very friendly. They greeted us with a delicious welcome drink. The welcome drinks in Bali are so good! I recommend you stay at the Hard Rock Bali because it is a very kid friendly hotel. The pools is huge and it even has a water slide and a water play area.