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Laos: Where to eat at Vientiane and Luang Prabang

Category : Foods, Travel · No Comments · by May 8th, 2014

Hereby i share some gathered information about where to eat for Laos trip on last year. It covers Vientiane and Luang Prabang, as for Vang Vieng, majority of the restaurants are gathered on main street which is easily access.

Vientiane locate at borderline of Laos and Thailand, foods are more or less similar between two, which taste towards salty and spicy. As Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang are placed in middle of country which is mountain area, seafood and fruits is less seen compare to Vientiane that imported from Thailand. Food source from farming and river are more common at Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. Never spot any famous fast-food franchises such as McDonald and KFC in the trip, but there are numbers of European restaurants such as France and Italians.

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Sticky rice and bamboo shoot related dishes are very common in Luang Prabang where you can find it in most of the Laos restaurant and local market. According to our guide, steamed sticky rice is famous because it can kept for a longer period, stuffy that a person won’t feel hungry easily, easier to store and access as snack. Other than those two above, some famous dishes are Larb / Laap – spicy mixture of marinated meat/fish, Tam mak hoong – spicy green papaya salad and Rice Cracker.

a) Restaurants at Vientiane

i) Scandinavian Bakery

Operation time: 07:00 – 21:00
Review: http://goo.gl/GfjDVN, http://goo.gl/ueNaXf
Location: nearby Vientiane Nam Phou Fountain, Rue Pangkham Road

ii) Sunset Sala Khounta (Bar)

Operation time: 11:00 – 23:00
Review: http://goo.gl/Aywxue, http://goo.gl/yhTvA1
Location: Three Elephants Statue by the Riverfront at Quai Fa Ngum

iii) Anna Grilled Duck

Dishes: Grilled Duck, Laos dishes
Operation time: noon to night
Review: http://goo.gl/yVKxHC, http://goo.gl/IKlJca
Location: arround Watnak Nyai Road and Watnak Temple

iv) Kualao Restaurant

Operation time: 11:00 – 14:00, cultural show on 18.30 – 22:00
Review: http://goo.gl/ts9u7
Location: Samsenthai Road

v) Makphet

Address: Th Setthathirat
Modern lao lunch – Mon-sat

vi) Douang Deuane

Address: Th Francois Nginn
Lao, Thai, Vietnam food
Breakfast, lunch, dinner – Mon-sat

vii) Bunmala Restaurant

Address: Th Khu Vieng
Ping pet (roast duck), Ping paa (grilled fish), Tam maa hung (papaya salad), Kaeng naw mai (soupy bamboo-shoot salad), sticky rice
Lunch, dinner

viii) Soukvemarn Lao Food

Address: 89/12 Ban Sisaket
Kaeng paa khai mot (fish soup with ant larvae), laap paa (spicy minced fish salad)
Lunch, dinner

ix) Le Belle Epoque

Address: 6 Th Pangkham
French, lao
Braised lamb shank with organic mash potato, flat noodle with grilled eggplant and cream sauce
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Others: Le Provencal Restaurant (nearby Nam Phou Faountain), Khop Chai Deu (Rue Setthathilath Road), Khao Nio (sticky rice), Centerpoint Fruit Shake Corner (only at night), Vegetarian Restaurants (near Cultural Hall and Talat Sao), Morning food market (west side), Delicious noodle – end of Rue Saylom and next to green Fuji Film shop, Ban Anou Night Market – pho made with hand pulled noodle, little lettuce wrapped snacks with peanut filling, small rice pancakes


b) Restaurants at Luang Prabang

i) Saburo Khao Soy-Lao Coffee

Dishes: Khao Piak Sien (Rice Noodle Soup), Khao Soi
Operation time: noon to night
Review: http://goo.gl/6r8FQu, http://goo.gl/bmtbri
Location: Opposite Wat Wisunarat (Wat Visoun) at Phommathat Road

ii) Khmu Restaurant & Spa

Dishes: Pork Sausage, Bamboo Springroll, Phan Khai (Rapped Omellette)
Operation time: noon to night
Review: http://goo.gl/2Hqpob, http://goo.gl/qz4945
Location: Sisavangvong Road

iii) Lao Lao Garden Bar and Restaurant

Dishes: Traditional Lao Barbecue
Operation time: night
Review: http://goo.gl/fKI6vm, http://goo.gl/WMio6W
Location: Kingkitsarath Road

iv) Tum Tum Cheong Restaurant (cooking school)

Dishes: Mak Toom Lao Fruit Tea
Operation time: noon to night (Mon, Wed, Sat 7:30pm got live tradional show)
Review: http://goo.gl/Lg71LD, http://goo.gl/kOckto
Location: Sakkarine Road

Others: Mekong Weed Crackers, Tam Mak houng (Papaya salad), vegetarian buffet at night market (nearby Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre), Sisavangvong street

**Refer Google documents here for the map: Laos Food

Sungai Chilling Waterfall 2nd Visit @ Kuala Kubu Bharu

Category : Foods, Hiking · No Comments · by May 7th, 2014

After gathering up, we depart to Serendah old town for breakfast. Serendah old town is worth to visit as there are plenty of nice foods here. We have tried wan tan mee at “Kedai Kopi Yee Kee” before, this time our organiser took us to Sam Hing Restaurant to try on their signature foods.

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Sam Hing Restaurant (三兴茶餐室)
著名: 云吞汤, 招牌细面, 炸炒细面, 单眼佬凉茶
Adress: 47, Jalan Macau, 48200 Serendah, Selangor.
Tel: +603 6081 1804
Operating hours: 09:00am – 16:00 (closed on Tuesday)
Foursquare: http://4sq.com/SsmXV4

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Other than the coffee shop, you can visit morning market at the back street, shop for a pair Kampung Adidas (RM 8.00) at Fook Hing Loong, buy 煎隆包 from Yee Kee coffee shop or snacks from Pasar Pagi to picnic at Sungai Chilling.

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This is my second visit to Sungai Chilling Waterfall on May, we are lucky the rain only hit the area after all of us finished trekking. Seems like it is better choice to visit Malaysia’s waterfall on morning compare with afternoon. Based on my experiences, the rain often start from around 14:00, which includes hiking/ trekking in area of Klang valley, Selangor, Seremban, Sabah and Kuantan.

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Parking are available along road side, here is the entrance map. Entrance fee are RM 1.00 per person, you will need to sign-in and sing-out for security purpose. Trekking will take more than an hour leisure walk, no steep ascending unless you are going to the 3rd level of waterfall.

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Visitors will need to cross 6 rivers (includes the stream under suspension bridge) to arrive waterfall. It is advise to wear slipper with good grips, crocs, teva sandals or my most recommend rubber shoes “Kampung Adidas“.

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Kampung Adidas wearing in action, excellent grip while crossing stream and trekking in topical forst. Do note it might hurt your feet if you are wearing it for the first time and without socks.

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We went on early May weekend, the river seems shallower compare to last visit and dead pitcher plants can be seen along side of trail.

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Butterflies are enjoying sun bath on the rock. Lots of butterflies can be spot this round, but there are also big numbers of bees around area of 6th stream, 1st level waterfall, 3rd level waterfall and toilet near registration centre.

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Those bees only follow few specific peoples and even land on them, you may refer why this situation happen at these forum: Why do bees follow me all the time? and Why do bees and wasps like to chase me, and show no interest in people who aren’t afraid of bees? . However, it won’t attack or sting you unless accidentally press or hit on the bees.

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As usual, the first level often crowded on weekend. We went up to 3rd level that require to hike steep trail for another 15 minutes.

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Trail to third level can be found before you crossed the 6th stream.

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Rainbow waterfall spotted at the second level, such a waste there are no trail to reach in second level which it consist a big pool and great waterfall.

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Reached third level waterfall, surprised us that there are a uniform team doing abseiling training and RTM camera man are doing shooting with interviews. Luckily we are able to share the pool and chilax in the cool fresh water.

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End of our trekking, as you can see, the sport shoes seems to be a bad choice with one peeling of out-sole and another injured on knee.

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After trekking, our great organiser brought us to the famous Teng Wun bakery to collect our pre-ordered Durian cake and Kaya puff. I strongly recommend you to try on Durian cake, remember to pre-order days before, it won’t be available on the spot as Kaya Puff. Price list can be refer here and a 0.5kg Durian cake will cost RM 28.00.

Teng Wun Bakery & Confectionery (昇雲西菓店)
著名: 加椰角(Kaya Puff), 榴莲蛋糕 (需要预定)
Adress: 15, Jalan Dato Muda Jaafar, 44000 Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor.
Tel: +603 6064 1586
Operating hours:09:00 – 18:00
Foursquare: http://4sq.com/e7tVzz

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For our late lunch, our organiser lead us to Serendah Tom Yam (桥头酸辣汤) beside the bridge and nearby Serendah Old Town. The place is quite hidden as the entrance is narrow, and there are no signboard or banner for the restaurant. Spot the road beside the bridge, turn into first junction and first building with trees and river beside is your destination.

Tom Yam Restaurant (桥头酸辣汤)
著名: 炸鸡块, 泰式鱼, 酸辣汤
Address: Off Jalan Batu Arang (Main trunk road #1), 48200 Serendah, Selangor.
Tel: +6012 619 0887
Operating hours: 12:00 – 20:00 (Closed on Wednesdays, Open on public holidays)
Foursquare: http://4sq.com/eFZz0S

Mountain Rinjani Hike at Lombok, Part Four

Category : Hiking · No Comments · by May 6th, 2014

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The lake is huge and not safe to swim according to our guide, due to coldness, deepness and cleanliness. Porters are cheering up at the lake and fishing for dinner.

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I found Gunung Rinjani is often accompany with thick clouds on afternoon.

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Thought should be warmer since it surrounded with crater,but it is not. Although less cold compare to camp site at Plawangan Sembalun, but it is still cold because of the wind keep blowing.

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Guide and porters make a camp fire to dry our wet clothes after hot spring waterfall and warm us up from shivering. We sat close to the fire and have a great dinner with rice + mixed vegetables.

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Porters teach us the express way to warm whole body, by standing close to fire backwards and i have tried, it is very comfortable.

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The camp site that enough to fit in hundred of peoples. Orange tent at right is a temporary toilet for pass motion.

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The last day of our hike, done some photo shooting around and have a simple breakfast accompany with amazing scene, then we are getting ready to depart to foothill through different trail from where we came from.

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We will go around the crater and the Senaru trail cover a “U” shape around Gunung Rinjani as this map.

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Another angle of baby volcano and the beautiful lake. Highest point on the left is peak of Gunung Rinjani.

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Senaru trail, a very long trail that require hiker go ascend for near two hours, then only start to descend that take another two more hours.

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Part of the trail are sandy, which you can slide down as my team members did in the picture.

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The foothill at the end of Senaru trail, toilet and mini store can be found here. The mini stores sells cigarettes, bread, snacks, isotonic drinks and beer.

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Cotton seed from the tall cotton tree, unlike those shorter cotton plant that normally seen in farm.

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From end of Senaru trail, you will need to walk another 20 minutes to the gate of Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani that nearby Rinjani Trek Info Center. Our tour agent is waiting for us at this place and sending us to port, for the boat ride to Gili Trawangan island.

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Shot this photo from Senggigi beach, sunset with Gunung Agung beside, which locate at Bali island.

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Last day relaxing at Senggigi beach before heading back to Kuala Lumpur.

Mountain Rinjani Hike at Lombok, Part Three

Category : Hiking · No Comments · by May 5th, 2014

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All hikers need to wake up on midnight to get prepare as Gunung Kinabalu hike. we woke up on 02:30, porters already prepared us light breakfast with sandwich and tea.

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On the peak of Gunung Rinjani, extremely cold after some rest but it gets warmer after sun rise.

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Unlike Gunung Kinabalu that is over crowded, there are less people hike Gunung Rinjani, probably due to lesser marketing done by local government.

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Breath taking view that IMO it surpass Kota Kinabalu’s 4095m view although Rinjani is shorter in height.

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Crater and the lake (Danau Segara Anak), very interesting that there is a active baby volcano within the lake of volcano.

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While waiting for my team mates, took a group photo with another team that come from Malaysia too.

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The love and hate of the sandy rock i talk about in most of Rinjani post, descent of 10 minutes will equal to 30 minutes of ascent. Ascending is no fun and tiring but sliding down is very exciting which sort of like skating.

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Closer look of the baby volcano.

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Team mate Posing at the favourite photo shooting spot.

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Reached camp site on noon, took another great lunch with rice, fried garlic egg and very nice maggie mee that warms body up after the cold hike.

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After the lunch, is time to trek down towards volcano lake. Along the way, you will see another side of the mountain full filled with beautiful flower above, the Edelweiss Flower.

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After another two hours trekking, arrived on the fairy-tale like scene at the volcano lake.