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Friday, 26 August 2016

Little Vietnam Restaurant and Cafe

Date of visit: Jan & May


We got to know this place by driving pass it numerous times.  Each time I just managed to catch a glimpse of the crowd and I thought it's a bar as it's dim.  I can't remember how, we finally found out that it's a Vietnamese Restaurant and we need to know what draws the crowd.

So, it's good and worth it, we made 2 visits.

No reservation was accepted, on both dinner occasions, we joined a short queue and were in after around 15mins. 
All service crews are Vietnamese, so are the cooks I presume.

So Huyet Hap (Steam Cockles) S$6.00
It's good though a bit plain.  They still have a few choices for cockles, will need to try their spicy stir fry version next time.

Cut Chien Bo (Roast Pigeons X4) S$15.00

It's mini chicken.  Meat was juicy and tender, the perfect brown skin was finger licking good.

Ca Kho (Claypot fish) S$6.50
If I am not wrong it's snake head fish (生鱼) with gooey gluey slippery skin which some may love and some will shunt.  Savory, thicker than soup but thinner than what braised should be.  Something special, price very reasonable.

Tom Nuong (Charcoal Grilled Prawns) S$16.00
MUST ORDER.  No regrets even if cholesterol hits the roof.  Big fat king prawns announced it's presence with strong aroma even before they reach the table.  Bite: FRESH!  SWEET!  太好吃了!

Rau Muong Xao (Stir Fried Kangkong) S$8.00
I know "adjustment" was made for Singaporeans.  In Vietnam (and Cambodia) they throw away the leaves keeping only stalks.  But over here, we love kangkong from top to bottom, so they stir fried them all for us, heehee....

Pho Tai Bo Vien (Beef soup) S$6.00
Slightly pepperish broth with basil leaves and raw bean sprouts to go with beef balls and slices.

Com Chien (Fried Rice) S$6.50
Looked and tasted home cook, a bit oily, but still yummy.

Rau Cau (Vanilla Pudding with coffee) S$2.50
Vanilla pudding.  And the brown sauce?  It's coffee!  You thought it's caramel right?  lolxx...

It's not easy to leave home to work in a foreign land.  I am thankful that they brought with them authentic Vietnam cuisine.  Cam On Nhieu Nhieu! (Thank you very much!)
Selfie with non la (leaf hat) while waiting for food ;P

Pocket friendly, good food, one of the best place to satisfy gluttons in the east I would say.
 But they do not have big tables, may not be easy if you have a group of more than 6pax.



Little Vietnam Restaurant and Cafe
511 Guillemard Road
#01-25 (Grandlink Square)
Singapore 399849


A side note, saw from their Facebook, they will be close for renovation from 5 to 25 Sep 2016.  So you either be quick, or wait to enjoy their new face lift!


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Voluntary Misson at Siem Reap, Cambodia DAY 1 (Part 1)



About 2 weeks never blog, my poor blog covered with cobwebs and spiders liao lolxx..

It's getting more and more difficult to squeeze time ever since I became a beauty advisor.  So, I was being jam packed working like a cow, playing PokemonGo whenever I can, was also busy doing up a itinerary for our year end family trip.  Could had done it later but I was really curious about Macau.  Since I am doing massive read-ups online, I just cut and paste the information and line them up into an itinerary.  Kiasu auntie, heeheehee......

So yup, how can I not blog about my last month's voluntary trip Siem Reap Cambodia!
The experience was just as precious as previously with familiar comfort as well as new excitements.
If you are interested about last year's trip click HERE.


Prologue:

Preparation started as early as May for fund raising.

We took opportunity of the yearly Garage Sale at Oakwood to raise funds.
Woke up in the wee morning, put in lots of effort, we made lemonade, one member baked cupcakes.... However the crowd was sparse, we didn't raise as much as expected but every dollar counts.  Nevertheless this was the first punch for our trip in August.

Team meeting one week before set off.
Ada, my kid sis, founder of Inspiring Stars briefing the team members on the voluntary mission in Siem Reap.  Packing and sorting pre-love clothes and stationery was hectic with lots of fun and laughter.  This time we managed to pool slightly more than S$9K of funds from generous and kind donors.

Next, I need to fulfill my dream:  Give the Cambodia children a photo.

You see, last year I had taken many photos of them.  But I realised I was only making myself happy.  We, over here selfie is so common and we either keep them or show off in social media.  The children there probably never have a photo of themselves to keep.  Obviously I can't be giving them smart phones, but a polaroid photo for them to safe keep is still within my ability.

No luck looking for sponsorship of camera or films, so I be the sponsor, bought a second hand Coco at S$38 and 200 films.  It's one of the best thing I had done in my life.

I departed 2 days before the rest of Inspiring Stars team members to have a bit of  "me time".   Travel details starts rolling:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Destination: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Duration: 19 to 24 Aug 2016

Flight:  Jet Star -  2 way rounded up to be S$254

Accommodation:  Steung Siem Reap Hotel (4 star) - Street 9, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Website - www.steungsiemreaphotel.com

Mode of travel: A local coordinator was with us.  We had 2 vans drove to drive us around.

Time difference: 1 hour behind Singapore

Currency: USD and Cambodian Riel, but USD is used more often.

Weather: around 33°C with occasional rain.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


19.08.2016


One hand carry and 2 check-ins and I was on the way.

Discovered a lounge for snooze before boarding, so I set the alarm and took a nap.  Never stop loving our pride, our Changi Airport.

2hrs was a breeze and I landed safely at Siem Reap.

Our local coordinator came to pick me up from the airport with a no plate number jeep!

My first ride in my life on a jeep, LOVE IT!

About 15mins ride from the airport, my first solo stop was
Cambodian Culture Village
Siem Reap Province (Angkor Wat), along Airport Road No.6
Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krus Village, Cambodia

This was the ticket booth hut.  Entrance fee was USD15.  It's very much like our Haw Par Villa, so if one is expecting wow factors and modern fascinations, the fee can be quite steep.

But travelling is all about exploring, experiencing and learning.  Keep scrolling to view the photos I had taken, worth it or not, to each's own.



At the entrance, I saw a guy bottle feeding the carps!  I was like.... sure bo?!?  So many fishes crowding for one bottle, a bit poor thing sia lolxx...

Cambodia Culture Village is 210,000sqm2 according to Wikipedia.  Didn't seem this big to me though.  It's generally recommended for a 2 hours visit but 3 hours was more comfortable for me to catch a show, take on ton of photos, stroll and relax.
Leaflet tourist map provided, basically Cambodia Culture Village is divided into a few sections of "villages" where traditional dances/drama are performed.  I went straight to No.5 Kola Village to see the Peacock Dance since I hit the timing when I arrived.  But  I would say it's easier to follow their 1 2 3.

So I am arranging the photos by 1 2 3 for easy reference.

1. WAX  MUSEUM
Exhibits historical and important Cambodian Characters from the first century to present.
It was right at the entrance, so I thought I could make it my last stop before leaving.  My calculation of timing was really bad, it's closed when I was back T__T

Next to the Wax Muesum is a Restaurant (11.00am to 9.00pm) and Foot Massage (1.00pm to 10.00pm).

2. MILLIONAIRE  HOUSE
It was how an ancient style of Khmer construction looked like during Ou Doung time.  Traditional Khmer Wedding is performed (I missed also T___T)
Wanted to go up to take a look, but there was this (old and out of shape like me) *** taking OOTD with different shawls right in the middle of the staircase.  Shawl wrapping head, then self struggle around neck, then above her head, then over her shoulders..... all poses and all stunts she did.   She took so long that I decided to leave -_____-|||  I passed by again before exiting and it's closed, Could only take a pic haiz.....

3. CHAM  VILLAGE
The origin of Cham is from Champo Vietnam.  They are Islams live along riverbanks to fish while other work as blacksmiths.



Besides Cham Village is a children's playground.

4. CHINESE  GARDEN
Chinese migrated from China to Cambodia.

5. KOLA  VILLAGE
Immigrants from Burma since 1876 are one of the minorities living in Pailin  district where lots of peacocks and precious stones are found.

Story of the peacock dance was narrated in English before the performance started, however I was still in blurrness when the show was proceeded in Cambodian.
 

6. KROENG  VILLAGE
Another minorities, the Kroengs lives in the northeast of Cambodia, Rattanakiri province.  They mainly farm and hunt.  Their traditional costumes are very colorful.



A beautiful quiet spot at a corner of Kroeng Village, a breather for me away from those *** crowd of tourists >.<

And besides the Kroeng Village is this "ghost house" or Judgement Tunnel it's called.  Cambodia Culture Village is like our Haw Par Villa as I had said.  They got their hell too!  lolxx..

Very ashamed, this was the one and only picture I took inside, cos' I chickened out when I realized that nobody was beside me, in front of me or behind me.  For the first time, I was so scared being alone.  I know everything was fake but the fear of tripping over and fall flat on my nose was too much for me to go on, it's damn scary with all the sound effects inside. 吓死宝宝。
I walked out from the entrance as calmly as possible to save some face >.< fml...

7. KHMER  ASSOCIATION  VILLAGE
Shows christian religion in Cambodia.


Headless Superman lolxx...
It's more than 10 feet tall, I know can't tell from the photo. I think there's a stairs behind it for people to climb up and pop their heads over for photo taking.



8. FLOATING  VILLAGE
The floating village is at Tonle Sap Lake, there's a difference between the real and the mimic.


The noisy *** tourists weren't too interested, so I had this place literally all by myself enjoying the tranquil. 


9. KHMER  VILLAGE
The Khmers are the main population in Cambodia.



10. Mini  Theatre
There will be performances at scheduled timings for visitors.  It was around 5.30pm when I was at this spot, everybody was preparing for closing, other visitors were heading to the entrance/exit.

11. Phnorng  Village
The Phnorngs is a tribal group living in the northeast region of Cambodia, Mondulkiri Province.


I was sitting on the tribal king's throne I think, heehee...

12. Big Theatre
This is a special stage for a show called "The Greatest King Jayavarman 7".  It's about some war history in 1181.  More than 100 performers stage the show.

Part of the outdoor seats around the stage.

Life size elephants sculptures besides the Big Theatre.

13. Farm  Village
A plot for us to have a rough idea of Cambodia farmer's house and environment.


14. Miniatures
Okay, this is cute, historical buildings around Cambodia shrink into not more than a meter in height here.  I think I didn't manage to cover everything, not sure what I had missed out either.

Central Market (Phnom Penh) build in 1935.

Wat Phnom, since 1372.

Independence Monument.

National Museum 1918.

Phnom Pehn Royal Palace since 1866.

Next to the miniatures, Arrow Entertainment = Archery lolxx...

15. New  Theatre
New Theater didn't seem too new lolxx..   

Not sure if I am right.  The steps are for the audience, and performers perform on the little space with the man-made pond as backrobe?

My friend, the jeep owner was tied up with work, so I took a tuk tuk back to the hotel at Pub Street.
It's either USD4 or 5, couldn't remember.

Will have to leave the night experience in Part 2.  Probably's gonna take me sometime again cos I have to look into TaoBao order for Halloween.  Yes, October is just around the corner, Halloween is coming soon!

Thanks for reading, I hope this is useful for those who are planning to visit Cambodia Culture Village ;)