Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflection 2007

"Who is that girl I see, staring straight, back at me, Why is my reflection someone I don't know??" - Christina Aguilera "Reflections" from "Mulan"

Haha, a cliche opening but well, the essence of this post (the last post of 2007 and my 112th post) is on reflections. Of the past 12 months. History, some people say what's there to reflect on? It's already past tense! Well, why do we study or learn history? To learn from the past and prepare for the future! To understand what we have achieved or done wrong or done incorrectly and hope to change for the better!

2007! Ah, it has been a great, fantastic year for me! For the past quarter century (yes, now u know how yound I am!!), I must say 2007 has made the most impact on my life. It's a cliche, but really, it seemed like yesterday when I just celebrated the start of 2007!! Ok, I was too young during the 1st few years of my life to really reflect on what I did. But 2007 was really an important year for me in many aspects. All the ups and downs, happiness and sadness, surprises and developments. All those dramas happening within the year. Eventful year, year of change and new realisation....

Year of happiness, Ah.. Lots of beautiful memories... Best year of my life in travelling!! 2 trips to the US, on short assignments led to my extended tour of LA, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose! Great trip I had, saw some really beautiful sceneries, experienced really cool american culture and met great people! I really loved the place! Then there was my annual backpacking trip, which is by far the most adventurous and biggest scale so far -- 3 weeks to Vietnam and Cambodia with my buddie Ting Mei! It was tough at times and tiring cos of the travelling but the experience we gained is priceless! The beautiful place, the great pple we have met along the way and the rich culture of the places we went to... I love it!! Must say thanks and sorie to Ting Mei for tagging along with my sometimes extreme way of backpacking kekeke...

Then there was the diving trip! I really AM glad that I went for the diving trip to Perhentian in May with Ting Mei. It almost did not happen cos of a previously arranged trip that was cancelled due to some reason (which I shall not explain). But am glad it did cos this trip was really one of the highlights of the year! It made me love diving even more and of cos got to know more great frens! Which I initially DID NOT anticipated. I thought, well just another diving trip like the one in Phuket. But lo and behold! We bonded like old frens! Met really great personalities there like Sebastian (our instructor) and Angie (haha the wild one). And we are still great frens till now! All thanks to them and their crazy antics, it made our short stay there so much fun! Of cos our 2nd trip back there in July was as much fun since we've gotten much closer since!

Then there is the change of job, for the better! Finally after 3.5 years of suffering under the wings of EY, i had enough and changed my job to Internal Audit. Hope for the best in the coming year!

Of cos there are some sadness and down moments. The leaving of the dear senior manager on my most important job in EY - Priy. He was and still is the greatest senior manager I have ever met! He is one without pretenses, without air and u can easily just chat with him like a regular colleague! He speaks his mind and appreciates if u do so as well, not like the locals who r so damn political. He is the only senior manager whom I can speak my mind freely with, even though he has gone back to Australia, we still keep in contact and gossip once in a blue blue moon!

Then there is the end of a wonderful relationship. It was great and happy while it lasted but painful when it ended (I don't show it, but it really did hurt) I was really happy during the period. It really opened me up much more, opened my eyes to the world and brought me out of my hermit state. I got to know more frens and they were great! While it did not last, I was happy that it started. Maybe it's just fate...

Of cos, the passing away of my uncle, who fought with diabetes and pneumonia before finally losing the battle. I am not one who sheds tears easily, but this was one moment when I really did. Looking at his emancipated body and lifeless face, I'm actually glad that he left us, as that meant an end of his endless sufferings. It made me ponder on life. He was such a strong and healthy man, and suddenly just suddenly he was down with diabetes which literally reduced him to someone without life! He was weak and shrivelled down to near bones. It really is heartening to see a man who was once strong and fit, become weak and unable to excert too much strength. Life is so unpredictable. So LIVE LIFE!!!

Of cos, there are many 1st times as well for me!

Look at my transformation, from long hair to short & funky(within 1yr)

1st time after 8 long years, I cut my hair SHORT!!! Yes, from near waist length, I cut it to shoulder length 1st, and further reduced it to the famous POB (named after Posh Spice) within 2mths and dyed it red (yes also my 1st time dyeing my hair). Then followed much more trimmings to even shorter and dyed my fringe bright red, hence the name Flamingo bestowed upon me by Guy Fawkes aka Cinderalla Man aka Ho Wee Lin. Still have my short hair 1 yr since and I think I'm going to keep it short (tho i told myself b4 to give myself 1yr of short hair). I think i look good with short hair. But who knows what will happen few mths down the road.

1st time i got drunk, all thanks to Flaming Lamborghini! That's a drink ok. I really was gone case after that drink. And that happend on my 1st trip to MOS!!! After that 1st time, I got drunk 2 more times, once in Perhentian and once during our EY drinking session. That was all. I hate to be drunk, what a terrible feeling after!

1st time i missed my company's dnd. haha n it just happened to be my last year with EY and I missed it! Damn!!

1st time on business trip, which were the 2 US trips.

Of cos I got lasik!!! A new fantastic development that spelt the end of spectacles and stupid lens! I can see clearly now the sky is blue! I LOVE IT!! Must take care of my eyes now.

This is also a year when I really started to be more adventurous in my dressing. Think I started to be more feminine in my wardrobe haha.

I think I changed quite a bit in 2007. I have become more open and adventurous. My outlook of life has changed a little and I think I've become more outspoken (though I shld improve on that). Maybe it's the short hair that influenced as well! Ever since i got my hair cut, people start to think I'm a wild gal! Which I AM NOT!!! I've become much more independent as well! It's a change for the better i think.

I have also got to know more of my colleagues in EY (now become ex-colleagues). 1st and foremost is Cinderalla Man, whom I found out to be quite as crappy as me!! Of cos some other new colleagues whom I sorta clicked with and can just talk crappy things with! Those are the pple who made my last few wks in EY really really great! Of cos there are those who left long b4 me...

Recently, all thanks to facebook, I have found alot of my old classmates and noticed that alot of pple have changed. One of my JC mate pointed out that he sensed that I have changed since my jc days. And that was only through msn-ing that he pointed that out! C how drastic the change has been since JC days (abt 6yrs ago).

Quarter of a century. Maybe that's the time to mold a person to what he or she will become. Maybe it's the working experience that changes people. World is alwayz changing, and pple will change in response to environment. For better or worse. Nothing is for certain. So we must learn from the past, and forecast for the future.

What do I hope for 2008? Resolutions? I don't believe in them. Cos most of the time they are not fulfilled.

I hope for the best in my new job. I hope for a healthier lifestyle (I will try to go gym more often and try to stop snacking on tidbits). I hope for more money (maybe i shld start to buy 4D and ToTo). I hope for some sparks in my love life. I hope for good health to my loved ones. I hope for WORLD PEACE (not kidding this is damn important)

Also, I hope u guys will continue to read my blog!!!

Happy New Year

Continue in 2008!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A New Beginning!!

A New Beginning has finally BEGUN!!

1st, I've got lasik done, finally after 12 years, I can finally see the world clearly, without the help of glasses or lens. What a wonderful world! The feeling is so shiok!

Of cos it doesnt come cheap at $3K+ but it was all worth it. No more hassle, no more spending on lens (which can be bad for eyes n dangerous if contaminated), no more glasses which is inconvenient when it comes to sports. I LOVE the feeling. Money well spent. Well, the only inconvenient thing is the after care. For 1-2weeks after, cannot do alot of things like gym, washing eyes etc. So I must tolerate!!!

Of cos, a new job beginning! Started work on 21st (Friday). Office was damn empty cos e'ryone was on holiday. Good too, cos it just means an easy start to pick up things. So far so good, nth much to do n colleagues seem reali nice. I'm the most junior so i'm the baby of the team hahahah....1st assignment for 2008 will be a biz trip to KL in mid jan for 1 wk. Then after tat will be china, thailand, australia and possibly a Global Audit Meeting in Stockholm.

So far everything seems smooth, just hope it all goes well. A little scared abt the new job cos it's reali sth new & looking at their past reports, seems like alot of findings & a little amazed at their ability to pick those up. Hope I can learn quickly n contribute as much as I can!

Finally got a desk of my own (abt the size of the EY manager's table), own wireless phone. Can start decorating my desk! Of cos it comes with cabinet & cupboard. & a new pantry with food (containers of biscuits & a posh coffee maker).

Well, Xmas is around the corner, and 2008 is fast approaching. So wish everyone a GREAT XMAS and a fruitful, fulfilling new year 2008!! Hoping for a fun xmas & new year party soon...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The End of the Beginning

Oh so poetic so cliche....hahahha But it's true!

10122007, the day when it all ended. The end of late late nights, the end of sufferings, the end of crazy standards, the end of stupid managers..But it also spells the end of close peers (though only a pathetic few are left), end of comfort (well in audit, u can just sit and wait to be promoted every year), end of taking ridiculously long leave (like 1month). But all in the name of good! Ah so holy hahah.. I'm leaving for a better world (i believe it to be true), leaving for a better life (more standard working hours), leaving for a new, totally different environment where survival of the fittest is the most apt description. Commercial world is different from audit. In audit, we are alittle sheltered. There is no competition to fight to the top. Promotion is almost guaranteed every year for everyone. U don't get fired ever! Maybe it's time to move on, to test out ur own market value & survival instinct!

Am I excited? I get asked by alot of pple. Truth be told -- I'm actually at peace. I don't feel overtly excited or nervous. I'm just -- calm. When it comes, it comes! I'm not jumping with joy or fidgeting with excitement. I'm just calm. It's just another job. I'm not expecting much cos the more u expect, the greater the disappointment. So i'm just trying to keep a clear open mind. Go in with a clean slate, better able to absorb and observe.

I'm actually more excited about my lasik surgery (next mon n tue) Finally i will get clear vision without lenses or glasses. U can nvr imagine how great the feeling is to be able to wake up in the morning, open ur eyes in bed n be able to see the surroundings clearly! Any chauffeurs available on 17th n 18th late afternoon?? Xiaomianyang, u said u could make it.. can come drive me home??

Countdown begins once again.. 10 more days to the start of a new employment...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Birthday @ Fish & Co

Belated birthday dinner with some of my closest friends.

Location chosen: Fish & Co @ Glass house.
Nice ambience and really crowded with youngsters, teenagers and of cos adults!
Seems like e'ryone loves to go there for birthday celebration! Birthday song was replaying itself every 5mins!
Starving diners we were, orders were made within 5mins. But dear god! The wait for food was agonising! So we took the time to test out the camera and did some Kodak moments!

Say Cheese everyone!
Me N Cindy

My food, fish,chips n veges

The time came for the star of the day - My birthday cake! N it was carried out by the Fish & Co staff. Yes, i guess it's the Fish & Co tradition to do a birthday song for the birthday star. So being the star of the day, I was made to stand on a chair (although I am tall enuff), put on a hat (which i bet was worn by tons of pple) and sparkle on hand! Then it started.

"Everybody, we have a birthday girl in the house"!! Shouted the staff and everyone was made aware. Ok this is rather embarassing..I just stood smiling & laughing and they started the Fish & Co birthday rap & song. It was very LOUD. Oh well, all in the name of fun! I'm a fun girl as well!!

Me with the hat n sparkle

Us with the cake!

Yum Yum Nutella cake!!

The rest of the night was really fun with us just gossiping, poking nose into alvin loke's private life and dreaming of Seowling's wedding next Sept. Yes, long time away but damn we're so excited abt it! 1st of our close frens getting married, of cos we're excited!

The last of my birthday celebration..N back to working crazy hours the following week...

But, doesnt matter, the end is near, the light is clear! Monday is my last day. The day I say goodbye to 3.5yrs of late nights, sad life, no life....The day I prepare to embark on a new journey, new life, new job! More time on hand, hope to discover more new things!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It Happens Once In A Year

I'm a quarter century old! A precious dear person (u know who u r) sent me a birthday email, telling me that... I really appreciate it..SOunds really old...HOw sad..Ok but it's true! Can't deny, just that the mention of 'century' makes it sound a little terrible. At the end of the day, it is just another day (just that it is the day u were brought to earth)

Had lunch with Mr Alvin and Tingmei (thanks alv for the treat). Then went down to DFS (yes, birthday doesnt mean u don't have to work). Surprise surprise! I got a surprise celebration from my team members! Led me to the pantry & presented me with a super big chocolate banana cake from Secret REcipe (this is their famous cake). HOw sweet. Got a card from all members as well...Sweet..Made me happier...

Make a wish,make a wish

Time to cut the HUGE cake!!

Altogether smile!

Then my good clients wished me happy birthday (they wanted to buy cake, but luckily they didn't else I would have loads of cake) & treated me to champagne! Moet & Chandon champagne! Nice! Drank the whole 200ml bottle & felt abit tipsy ahhaha.. Thanks everyone!!!

THis is the bottle I drank..Nice though

As usual, peak period have to work even though it was my birthday. But I had to get back home b4 midnight (for another round of cake cutting) so left at slightly after 11pm, managed to just make it b4 12midnight! N that's the story of my birthday! Nothing special (i don't really celebrate) & cldnt do it with frens (cos i had to work). Friends, ur turn this saturaday! Let's Havok & have fun! Haha... but if u were expecting major big parties or celebration then u'r wrong.. It doesn't happen in my world..hmmm but if it did, i seriously DO NOT mind (hint hint....) Surprise me!!!!!
Update: 9 more days to my last day with EY...So Happy!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Girls Gotta Doll Up ThemSelves!!!

Yes, taking that advice in our minds, we signed up for the makeup course by Ettusia (don't know if i spelt it correct, doesn't matter). N boy do we need it!!

Of course, there were saMPLES for e'ryone in the class, and hands-on practice to doll yourself up with instructions and demonstration from the experts!

3 of us were like 'babies' to makeup, didnt know how to apply eyeliner, or how to best apply eye shadow. Luckily our instructor was patient and thought us the way to do it.

Preparation steps b4 makeup were horrendous! wash up, slap on moisturiser, essence, n god knows what's like at least 1hr of preparation b4 u put on the makeup!!

Then comes the eye makeup. 1st, eye concealer, then highlighting the eye area, then eye shadow 1st layer, then another layer...Then eye liner, then eye brows, then mascara, then blar blar...damn tedious steps! N tat's just the eye area! Well, pple always say eye area is the most impt area, which I agree...

Then blusher, then lips..oh my god so damn tedious! In the end, walau! 3 pretty ladies transformed!!

Ok we had to don this stupid head band which made us look really terrible (like a chambermaid) N no pictures taken of that (thank god!!)

But at least we learnt the art of makeup! Maybe we shld do it more often...But we are lazy!! Hahahhahaha

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What the heck! People say if u don't get sick easily, once u do, u'll have it HARD & TERRIBLE!! It has happened to me... Been coughing since I got back from SF, actually started coughing when i was in SF (the last few days) but it wasn't anything serious until i got back...

2weeks since & no improvement! Visited the doctor twice, but still... Damn disrupted my sleep (have not been able to sleep well since, always waking up in the middle of the night to coughing) Damn i hate this, bter get well this week, I don wana waste another wkend (heck i miss gym!)

On another note, been to 1 counselling session with my counsellor..well the usual, ask u why leave, wat's wrong, y unhappy in EY, consider to stay blar blar... watever, i'm done with EY. I don want this kinda life anymore, I don wana face another FRS or late late nites... New company seems good, at least better benefits (tho the pay increment is not incredible but good enuff). I get to travel for work & the boss seems nice! Biz class for long flights cool! Looking forward to starting my new job!

Countdown begins! Let me see, last day should be 12 Dec, about 25 days from now... Hahah I told cinderella man I'm not good at keeping up with too long a countdown. 25 days is too long for me, i very much prefer to start at 10 days hahaha...Soon Soon Soon....
Can't wait Yatta!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007


I did it! Finally after 3years, 4months & 12 days, today is officially the day I submit my resignation letter! What a relieved feeling! So surreal! Actually, it’s abit of mixed feeling & jittery.. Suddenly, I’m leaving EY, a place I call home for the past few years (literally home), and heading out into the commercial world! No more comfort zone, no more familiarity, no more group of peer support… In a way, happy that I’m leaving the shit hole & the late nights.. But also feel a bit sad cos I’ll be leaving my colleagues & peers into deeper shit, especially those in my major portfolio, really going to struggle hard! But, well, opportunity is hard to come by, and when it comes, you really have to appreciate & grab it! Every man for himself. Can’t also be thinking about how others will survive. The world is cruel, if you don’t do it, there’ll be others who will be doing it…

1month from now, I will be free!!! Counting down from today.. 30days to go…

I'll have my farewell soon.....Pals, don't miss me..I know u will but don't cry for me, be happy!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

San Francisco & San Jose

Finally after 3 years in EY, it's my turn to go San Jose for this job (which I have been on since year 1). Cool, now i can tour San Francisco!

Flew off to San Francisco 1 week b4 the job started, so I had time to tour around SF!! Nice little city it is!!

1st, it doesn't have the feel of States. Less hectic, less rush... Alot more European feel. Nice weather - Cooling in the early morning & late evening, but HOT in the afternoon. Luckily it is not humid (dry) so not as bad... Pple there are nice... I like the place!

Touched down ard 130pm, got to hostel by 2pm, checked in & started walking. Yes, i like to walk. So i walked to Chinatown (which is about 20mins walk). 1 thing abt SF, the streets are damn steep!!! 60 degree steep at least.. so it was a challenge to walk up the steep slopes but hey, it's me u'r talking about, so it was not a challenge for me!!

Fisherman's Wharf

Pier 39, home to sea lions

From Chinatown, i walked again down to Fisherman's Wharf! Enroute, i stopped by Coit Tower, with a great view of the ocean & city!! Then it was another maybe 20mins walk to the Wharf! I love walking ok...

Fisherman's Wharf - Nice feeling great view! Stayed there for the rest of the late afternoon just walking along the bay & enjoying the terrific view of Golden Gate bridge..Then started walking back to hostel again... Keke decided 'what the heck, just walk' & off i went, I think i walked for almost 1hr back home so it was dark by the time i reached back to the hostel..
Hoeshin was there at the same time, so we were sorta travel buddy with each other! Hah, she said I was crazy to walk to Fisherman's Wharf...But i like it & if i had not walked, I would not have discovered Coit Tower, I would not have had the chance to take a look at the town itself, the colours of the town, the little shops & just experience the feel!
View of the Golden Gate Bridge
Me with GG at the back


Finally, I get to do my biking trip this time!! Yes, set off for my golden gate biking trip for the entire day! Went with Hoeshin (surprise, surprise!!). Started off at ard 11am & all the way through Golden Gate bridge. Not an easy ride cos of a little slope but we made it (though hoeshin nearly died by the time we reach the GG bridge).

1st stop - Sausalito! Ah, what a romantic name & the little town lives up to that name! Nice little idyllic town, pretty houses lined the coast, facing the ocean.. Wow! What a fantastic feeling! Of cos u have to be RICH RICH RICH!!! If i become rich, I would love to buy a house & live there!!

Old mill park

After a short break, it's all go again to Old Mill Park for the Redwood trees! After a few lost directions, we finally arrived! It looked like Lord Of The Rings has become alive in SF!! Tall trees in the forest, with some houses within So Cool!!!

Sunset view of the GG Bridge

Then onwards again to Tiburon!! A long long ride over to the other side...Passed by beautiful scenery & park.. & i fell from my bike enroute. Ugly scar still remains... Tiburon, by the time we reach it was abt 6pm.. Not much time to walk ard the town cos we had to rush for the ferry back to return the bike b4 they close shop. Had wanted to bike my way back but no time & too tired so took the ferry. Reali great workout, my butt & thighs ached alittle..

Me @ Yosemite

View of Yosemite

Went for the 2D1N Yosemite Hearst Castle tour. Yosemite, a nice national park but unfortch on a tour group u don't have much time to explore. But at least we got to see the 'Must sees' in Yosemite...2nd Day went Hearst Castle. Now you wonder what do rich pple do with their money?? Build castle! This man spent most of his later years building this gigantic castle with european feel!! IT is really huge with 2 pools, huge residential areas on top of a hill, with a private zoo! Crazy rite...but it makes for good tourist attraction!

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Last day in SF spent at Alcatraz.. The isolated island in the middle overlooking SF. Weather was damn cold tat morning, which makes for an appropriate atmosphere to visit the prison. Kkekekek... None has ever escaped from Alcatraz imagine! A little rush cos i had to get to San Jose in the afternoon, if not I would have spent more time at the prison exploring the surroundings!


Yes, San Jose... The 1st time in my life (after my driving test) that I actually drove the distance! Ok, the test drive with Superhose does not count! At 1st, it was nerve wrecking! I was shaking while driving!! N all nervous cos unfamiliar with driving & on unfamiliar grounds! Ok my parking sucks! In the states, pple like to park head in (unlike here, we always do back in) & tat's s'posed to be the easiest way of parking...but i sucked at it! Always had to reverse, go forward & reverse again & again, quite embarassing not to be able to park. 1st 2 days I was driving on my own so it was really scary but after the 2 days, i sorta got used to it & drove with more confidence. The good thing abt States is it's driver-friendly! Drivers all are very courteous & will give way to u! Not like here...

Sat came & my colleague joined me! So we just went supermarket shopping & dinner! I must say, in the states everything is big big big! Food portion huge, food sold in supermarket oso big! Nothing is small there..Even I wear size S in the States kekeke...

Student suntanning in school

I'm a student @ Santa Clara Uni

Stanford Uni, Really nice building

View of Stanford

Stanford Uni, the walkway

We went university visiting the next day & it was reali cool! I would love to study if our university is like tat! SO much greenery around, great atmosphere & feel to it! Undescribable feeling! U have to be there to feel it! The feel is not as stifling as here & with so much space & nice buildings, u'll fall in love with the school!

Stanford Building, so European feel

View of Stanford

Halloween Rodeo Party

Me, Tess & fellow partier

Me with Drag Bride!!

Oh, we were lucky to be there during their Halloween! It's a really big event for them! Everyone is dressed up & lots of Halloween party going on! I was fortunate to be invited to one such party by my client's HR manager. So cool! Everyone is really all dressed up, extravagantly! Superman, batman, guy fawkes, bunny girls..u name it, u see it! Ok i was the black chambermaid (costume from my client) Really enjoyed it! Now i can say I celebrated Halloween!!! On the day itself, u'll see all the children dressed up in shopping malls & everywhere else doing the "Trick or Treat".. It's really a tradition for them!

After 1 week of work assignment it's soon for GOODBYE to US & Hello to SG! So sad, would hv loved to stay longer but too bad... Did a little shopping in the states..Kekek it's our archilles heels man.. Not alot, just a little cos saw some really nice dresses & clothes..& i bought a pair of boots! keke short one, not those long ones so at least can wear in SG

Now am sick..coughing non stop...haiz i hate it! Must get well!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

3 Week Travelogue In Summary

Concluding Leg - Siem Reap Cambodia

Siem Reap, the famed Angkor Wat! After much bargaining with our tuk tuk driver, we finally reached a package price for the 3days of transport. Not cheap i tell ya, but what to do...USD29 for 3 days, transport to & from temples, include sunrise & sunset, include far away temples (like Beng Melea which is 2hrs away, Kbal Spean & Banteay Srei). Bloody expensive but well, what to do as i said..At least we don have to worry abt where to go, when to go etc..a driver will always be there to pick us from point to point...

Me@ Angkor Wat with my pass

Angkor Wat at dawn

Me with the face of Bayon

Our 3day Angkor wat tour started the next day with an early morning trip out for the sunrise. Had to wake up at 430am, left guesthouse at 515am for the sunrise. Paid USD40 for the 3day pass, complete with our photos taken digitally on the spot for the pass. We thought we could just submit a photo but well it's the age of IT! Ended up taking a really ugly photo with BAD lighting (cos it was too early, no sunlight, they used flourescent light to shine on our faces) Looked ghostly in the photo & i wasn't even looking straight at the camera! Well, as expected, it was a sunless sunrise (rainy season, so sky was damn cloudy) Disappointed but expected. So begun the 1st day. With tired body & mind, we embarked on the tour of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & the other great temples...

It is really amazing how they managed to build these temples, & yes how free they were! Plenty of time at hand during their time to spend tens of years to build the temples & carve the walls! Lots of restoration & renovation have been done to the temples to keep them intact but still retaining the traditional look & method of building..

1st day ended by 2pm cos we started out early. Took a short nap & ventured out for dinner near our hotel area. Ended up eating along the rows of hawker stalls selling the same thing. Yes, there were at least 10stalls & they all sell the same thing! Fried noodles or rice or soup noodles.. We ended up settling our dinner for the next 3 nights at the same place..

2nd day started our longer travelling to the further away temples. Worth mentioning is Kbal Spean. The road to this temple is so damn memorable for its bumpiness! Yes it was dirt road all the way, worse than the road to Phnom Penh. At the end of the ride, we both had sore bums... But also, Kbal Spean was nice! It was a forest walk uphill to the riverbed where carvings are made on the river beds... Amazing!

Carvings @ Kbal Spean

Ta Prohm

On our 2nd day, we were starting to feel burnt out by temple overdose. Hahha. Went for sunset viewing up a hilltop temple, but as expected it was a sunless sunset as well... But the view from atop was amazing!!

Me @ Beng Melea

Ruins @ Beng Melea

3rd day, we went to Beng Melea (not included in the pass but worth a visit). 2hr motor ride to reach. With 2 of us behind the driver, it was not a comfy ride, esp under the HOT HOT sun. Yes, it was HOT (whatever happened to the rainy season prediction). We wanted to save USD5 per pax, so opted for motorbike. Entrance fee of USD5 is required to enter but it was worth it. I like it very much! A different experience from the other temples cos this one is really inside the forest, left untouched. We could see all the ruins of the temples & had to climb up & down the stones & fallen temples to explore the insides of the temple. The temple was destroyed by mines (which have been cleared). We were fortunate to be guided through the temple with the help of a local police. It was an interesting visit & I highly recommend it!

On our way back, our motor broke down, & had to wait for abt 1-2hrs for it to be fixed. And so ends our 3day tour of Angkor Wat! It was alot of climbing & walking. The stairs up the temples are bloody steep & tiny in width. Not easy to climb up & even more difficult on the way down! And lots of sunblock is needed! You're on the move all the time & exposed to the harmful effects of the sun! Yes, the result of my 3wk travelogue was the slipper tan...Terrible..Trying to tan it away now...

My Slipper tan

Our last full day in Siem Reap was spent doing nth much. Shopping a little for souvenirs & massaging our tired feet... Then just lazed in our hotel room, watching tv & reading until the evening for our last dinner at our usual stall...

Our dinner spot!

A final packing of our bags & off to the airport on the next morning for our flight home... Guess what? My bag now weighs 16kg! Double the original weight!! Yes, all thanks to those tailored clothes. With my twice as heavy backpack & darker skintone, we flew back home...Back to civilisation, back to familiar home terrain, bye to our 3weeks of adventure!!

Me with my 16kg backpack @ airport

More pictures on my online album (& note that I only uploaded half of my total pictures. 300+ out of 600+ taken)...

Well, didnt meet many pple most prob cos this period is not the period of travelling for students from other countries (summer holidays over) so most pple we saw were couples or families. Hai, no 艳遇 so sad....But it was a great experience & eye opener. Vietnam is really very interesting, I will go back again! Every city is so different! Cambodia? Hmm maybe not so... But maybe i have not really researched into places in Cambodia...

When will be my next adventure? I have no idea!!!!

3 Week Travelogue In Summary

The Concluding Episode - Cambodia

Yes, after 3hr boat ride & 2hrs of Really Bumpy bus ride, we finally reached Phnom Penh city (1hr later than scheduled). Checked into our really cool & hip guesthouse (Top Banana Guesthouse) & went for a quiet dinner & slept... The guesthouse is really cool, with a hip chill out area at the top floor, & the owners are really cool pple! They don't look like typical guesthouse owners, & i actually thot our pickup driver was just a driver! Turned out he's the owner. Yes, he's the owner, pickup driver, city tour driver, chillout buddy etc all rolled into one!

2nd day started our tour of Phnom Penh - Killing fields, Toul Sleng Museum, Royal Palace & Silver Palace.

It was an emotional journey visiting the Killing Fields & Toul Sleng Museum. Learning abt such atrocities & monstrous acts by the Khmer Regime - just undescribable feeling inside me. Of the 7 million Cambodians, 2mil were killed during the 5yr (1975-1959). It's just plain crazy to comprehend the rationale behind the massacre & the communist thinking.. To totally wipe out the whole country! Totally unforgivable!

Memorial Stupa @ Killing Fields

Thousands of skulls housed in the Stupa

Toul Sleng Museum

After a really depressing morning, we proceeded to some market shopping & palace sightseeing under the tortuous sorching sun.. Bloody hell HOT HOT HOT! Talking abt the palace...USD6.25 per entry to just see palaces (ok they are royal palaces) but that's just plain exorbitant! In addition, they impose a strict attire rule - No sleeveless, no shorts. Yes, anything above the knee = unacceptable, anything that does not flow over the shoulder line = unacceptable. And unfortch, I was at the mercy of such rule. Well it was bloody hot, I can't be wrapping myself in clothes! Ended up having to rent a sarong & t-shirt just for the visit. I look like a Malay...Evidence as below:

Me in the sarong. It was killing me under the heat!

Point to note - It rains at exactly 5pm in Phnom Penh every evening, at least for the rainy season. And we witnessed it happend 2 nights in a row. Torential rains at 5pm.

3rd day - 6hr Bus ride to Battambang

Phnom Penh - Well it's really very city like, not unlike Vietnam & things are not so cheap as what we would have expected. Comparable to Vietnam & some even more expensive! Water is an expensive expense in Cambodia compared to Vietnam... Food wise, expensive. Granted, we ate at cafes, but in Vietnam, food in cafes is not that much expensive. So misconception to think Cambodia = Cheap! Maybe cos it's such a touristy plc. ANyway PHnom penh really doesnt have much to offer. 1 day was sufficient for us, & i think for most pple too!

After a 6hr bus ride (that's s'posed to be just 4hrs), we reached Battambang. Yes, we have learnt not to trust any form of time estimation in these countries. You always have to add at least 1hr to the estimate. They are never on time! Once we reached the bus station, we were confronted by hordes & hordes of motor drivers, trying to sell their services & hotels they're affiliated to. Luckily we made arrangements with our hotel to pick us up, or else it would have been chaotic! Yes, this is a very impt travel tip, to arrange for transport (if it's free or if the price does not differ much from the normal way) so that u would not be swamped.

Battambang. Probably an unfamiliar name to most of us. It's a small (really small) town in Cambodia, somewhere between PP & Siem Reap. The town is so small that after 1hr of walking, we've seen the town. Nth much in the town itself. Very quiet town, not many bars in sight as well & the town sleeps pretty early! By 6pm, the night has fallen (yes, sun sets really early in Cambodia & vietnam as well) & the streets are sorta deserted. Luckily we have TV to keep us entertained at night with pretty great channels like HBO, star movies etc...

2nd day begins our tour of Battambang. We went to the Killing caves, Wat Banan (Pre-Angkorian temples), tour of villages & fruit farm (where we had fruits feast for USD1). Final stop a ride on the famed bamboo train! We had to pay USD2 each for a 15min ride on that thing, a great discount from USD5 per pax! Though it was still rather expensive, we went for it (well it's famed, so must try). It is faster than a train!! & it's quite interesting watching them dismantle the train when met with oncoming train to allow them to pass through. Videotaped them in action:

& the speed of the bamboo train - Really really fast i tell u!

Us with Ally, fellow backpacker on bamboo train

3rd day begins our 7hr boat ride along the Tonle Sap Lake to Siem Reap. Boat ride was great & interesting! Glad we chose this instead of bus (heard the roads are really terrible) but of cos, don't try this method during dry season, it could take whole day!

Floating houses along Tonle Sap Lake

Balancing loads of stuff on that miserable boat

Our boat met with an accident, bumped into an oncoming boat & caused pple to fall off the other boat. Drama drama! Spent some time at the water traffic police because of this. It was also interesting watching the locals on board the boat & how they literally bought the whole market back to their homes (floating houses)! Yes, they live on the lake & they really carried loads & loads of stuff from Battambang. Vegetables, tins of biscuits, styrofoam boxes (yes no idea y) etc...I s'pose it's the supply for the whole village for days or even weeks to come cos it's really far from the city (at least 4-5hrs by boat).

As usual, we arrived in Siem Reap 1hr later than the stipulated time, but hey at least it's not tat bad! We would have thought it was going to take much much longer! Argh...Siem Reap, the ultimate last stop of our trip! No more repacking & unpacking!

More on Siem Reap in the ultimate concluding episode....