Sunday, July 22, 2012

Where to Stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia: Bou Savy Guesthouse

Going to the Angkor Wat in Cambodia was a dream come true for me.  But unfortunately my trip there was limited to just one day.  I have to go back home due to some urgent matters at that time.  The original plan was to stay there for 4 days.  So for me writing about it now is bittersweet.  I have been delaying writing about my trip there for 2 months now because although I want to share to my readers how beautiful and fascinating the sights and the people are, it kills me to remember that one day is not enough.

Well, on with the post - coming from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia we took an Airasia flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia - the gateway to Angkor Wat.  It was the third leg of our Southeast Asian trip last May. Upon arriving, one has to fill up the arrival card and the visa form.  It's a good thing that Filipinos don't need visa and are allowed up to 30 days stay.  If you will be coming in to Cambodia through the Aranyaprathet-Poipet (Thailand-Cambodia) border, be wary of men in long sleeves.  I have read that a lot of them were scams.  They would force you to get visas and let you pay a visa fee.  Just pass through them and politely say that Filipinos don't need a visa.

Our room at Bousavy Guesthouse
Since we booked accommodation at Bou Savy Guesthouse, there was a free airport pick up.  We were welcomed by Ani, our tuktuk driver who was holding a banner with my name up at the arrival area.  It was somewhat a 10-minute tuktuk ride to Bou Savy Guesthouse.  I was so happy to finally set foot in Cambodian soil.  After checking in at the hotel, they served us free welcome drinks and breakfast.  There were also free maps available in the reception area.

My pancake and fruit breakfast - FREE!
We availed of the accommodation and tour package at Bou Savy Guesthouse. For USD16, these are the things that we got:

- Air conditioned room, twin bed

- Private bathroom with hot and cold shower

- Cable/ satellite TV

- Fridge

- Complimentary drinking water

- Writing desk

- Free pick up service

- Free Wi-fi

- Free breakfast

- Free one time dinner

- Free guide books and maps to the temples

- Tour: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Baphoun, Bayon, Terrace of  Elephant, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdey and sunset at Bakheng Mountain.

Tip: They can also arrange your bus ticket if you plan to go to Bangkok.

I have read a lot of good reviews about this hotel from fellow travel bloggers.  And true enough, we didn't encounter any problems while we were there.  The staff were all very accommodating and helpful.  I would really recommend this hotel to any traveler in Siem Reap. You can also check out their website for updated rates and promos.

With Ani, our kind hearted tuktuk driver

Contact Information:

Mr. Horn Bovuth (Owner Bou Savy Guesthouse)

Address: #261 Group 17 Khum Svay Dangkum Siem Reap, Cambodia

Office Tel: (855)63 964 967

Email: or

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Putrajaya, Malaysia in Two Hours

Malaysia was the second country on our fast paced Southeast Asian trip last May. It was more like we had a layover in Malaysia since we will be traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia afterwards. Aside from the Petronas Tower, I wanted to go to Malaysia because of the Astaka Morocco Pavilion in Putrajaya. I have seen an HDR photograph of the pavilion in the web and researched about it ever since. So as soon as we arrived in Kuala Lumpur LCCT airport, we hopped on a shuttle bus going to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya (PJC) station.  The shuttle bus dropped us off to Salak Tinggi station where we will ride a train going to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

KLIA Ekspres at Salak Tinggi Station

When we arrived at PJC station, we availed of the two-hour tour around the area.  Aside from the budget taxi, there are other options that you can choose from. There’s even a limousine service if you don’t mind paying such a hefty price.  We paid the cheapest price which is RM75 for the budget taxi and the tour. Since we were there at around noon, it was so hot and the aircon inside the taxi doesn’t seem to work.  The driver also doesn’t seem to understand English that much.  But hey, this is all part of the adventure and we can’t complain. We have two hours to cover as many places as possible. We felt like we were in the Amazing Race because every time we stopped at a certain place, we hurriedly got off the car and took pictures as fast as we can before heading to our next destination.

In two hours, we were able to cover the following places:

The Seri Gemilang Bridge which serves as the main entrance to Putrajaya.
Putrajaya International Convention Center

Putrajaya Water Sports Complex
Palace of Justice

Putra Mosque

Perbadanan Putrajaya
The Perdana Putra which houses the office complex of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Our two hours is almost up and we still have one more place to go to - the Astaka Morocco or the Moroccan Pavilion inside the Botanical Garden.  There were very few information available in the web about the Astaka Morocco and I was so glad that we were able to go there.  I really love Astaka Morocco because of its unique Moroccan and Moorish architecture.  Since one item in my travel bucket list is to go to Morocco, this is somewhat a dream come true.

The entrance to Astaka Morocco
Intricate design on the walls of Astaka Morocco
Happy as happy can be..
Saying bye bye to Putrajaya

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Merlion and the Changing Colors of Marina Bay Sands

Singapore’s most famous symbol, the Merlion stands high near the Marina Bay Sands. What is a trip to Singapore without taking a picture of this symbolic icon? According to Wikipedia - "the Merlion is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore.  Its name combines "mer" meaning the sea and "lion". The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means "sea town" in Javanese.  The lion head represents Singapore's original name — Singapura - meaning lion city or kota singa."  We had a hard time taking a picture of it though since it rained the night we went there.  Droplets of water have covered our camera lenses and after several attempts, this was the best I could come up with:

Near the Merlion statue is another Singapore icon, the Marina Bay Sands. It’s shape is like there’s a surfboard on top of three buildings. We were fortunate enough to witness the lights show.  Here are some of my shots before and during the show: