Monkeying Around the World

Monkeying Around the World

Lil Dave’s Adventures with Ivan and Jennifer

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Pizza and Drinks in Bangkok

On December 25, 2008, we woke up.  Ivan and Jennifer exchanged Christmas gifts.  I gave them bananas wrapped in wrapping paper.  That was a hard feat!  We checked out of Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel.  Aaron was headed to Pattaya City today.

We took two taxicabs to the Admiral Premier Hotel.  Everybody checked in.  The hotel offers great accommodation with a pool on the roof.  We brought all our luggage to the room.

Ivan, Jennifer, Neal, Rob and I headed up to the pool.  Nom was sleeping in the room.  There’s a great view of the city.  It was great place to relax.  We ordered room service.  I had a good banana soup and also fried banana.  We hung out at the pool for a few hours. 

We went back to the room to shower and get ready.  We walked to Soi Cowboy for dinner.  We sat down at Old Dutch.  Neal ate two bags of fried grasshoppers.  Everybody else (including me) didn’t like the idea of eating grasshoppers.  Ivan and Jennifer started off with spring rolls.  Ivan had a fish soup.  Jennifer ordered noodles with chicken.  I got bananas and chips.  The food tasted good here.  We ended up having drinks at a bar nearby.

We woke up and had the free breakfast on December 26, 2008.  We had another cool day at the pool.  Ivan, Jennifer and I had sandwiches by the pool.  We found out that Neal got sick – probably from the fried grasshoppers the previous night.  We chilled in the room afterwards.  We were planning to meet for dinner later on. 

We hopped into a cab to a pizza place.  We went inside Basilico.  Ivan and Jennifer started with a tuna salad.  Then, they shared an eggplant pizza.  I got the banana pizza.  It’s good but nothing is as good as my dad’s pizza!  Ivan and Jennifer really enjoyed their meal. If you’re in Bangkok and you’re craving a pizza – definitely check out Basilico.  Neal still wasn’t feeling good.  He walked back to the hotel.

The rest of the group headed to a bar.  The bar had a mechanical bull.  Ivan rode it a couple of times. 

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I wanted to try it but I probably would have flown across the room.  Afterwards, we headed to another bar for more drinks.

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Sushi, Shopping and Dancing

Ivan, Jennifer and I went to get breakfast on December 23, 2008.  The free breakfast at Phranakorn Nornlen is organic.  It’s great food. The menu changes everyday.  Ivan found out recently that his brother was coming to visit Bangkok soon.  He’ll be arriving on the 24th.

We got into a taxi.  We were headed to the Siam Paragon to do some Christmas shopping.  The traffic was a bit heavy.  There’s lots of Christmas decorations around. 

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There were environmental ones like a tree made out of CDs or one made out of Coca-Cola cans. 

Ivan and Jennifer went to a sushi buffet for lunch.  It’s shabu shabu style.  There’s conveyor belts that brings the meats, fish and sushi around to the customers. 

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You can put the items into your soup and cook it.  They ate a lot of food.  I had a banana and chicken sandwich at a restaurant in the mall.

Ivan went his own way.  Jennifer and I went shopping for Ivan.  I did get a chance to shop on my own for a short time.  The mall is really big.  There’s also another mall right next door.  We shopped for two hours.  We all met up afterwards.  We went to the Siam Discovery.  Ivan bought a few items. 

We were all tired from walking so much.  We walked around the area to find a massage place.  We all got a thai massage.  The place had Ivan and Jennifer wear this yellow shirt and pant set.  The thai massage is good.  It can be a bit painful at times though. 

We took it easy for a few hours.  Ivan and Jennifer had a tuna sandwich at the hotel.  It was good.  I had a banana pancake with extra bananas. 

That night, Ivan and Jennifer went to Joe’s bar and had a few drinks. Jennifer sure giggles a lot when she’s had a few drinks. 

We went downstairs on December 24, 2008 to get breakfast.  The menu consisted of rice salad, cornfield, guava sauce and apple juice. The food was good again.  We chilled for awhile. 

We took a taxi to the Khao San Road.  We walked around browsing the souvenirs.

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We walked to May Kaidee’s Vegetarian Restaurant.  Here we had some good vegetarian food.  Of course, I had to add banana to my rice dish to make it satisfactory for me. 

Later on, we went back to the hotel.  Neal, Ivan’s brother was arriving soon.  His girlfriend Nom lives in Bangkok.  We saw them at the hotel since they were checking into their room.  It was nice for us to see a familiar face.  Neal came with two of his work friends Aaron and Rob.  We planned to meet shortly to go out. 

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We relaxed in the room.

We took two taxicabs to the Khao San Road.  We went to the Khao Sarn Center for dinner.  Ivan got the green curry this time while Jennifer got the red curry.  I had the banana noodle dish.  There was lots of beer drinking by mostly everybody.  I wish I could have joined in.  Our next stop was another bar.  We stopped by Gazebo and smoked some hookah.  There was a band there that sounded okay.  We went to the nightclub Bossy.  The music there was pop, dance and r&b.  Ivan and Jennifer enjoyed dancing around.  The nightclub was filling up with people.  I danced on the table so I wouldn’t get stepped on.  The club had a big raisedwalkway with stripper poles.  Lots of people danced on the walkway.  We had a fun night! 

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Tasty food in Bangkok

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up early on December 21, 2008.  We went to our private taxi and hopped in.  We’re Bangkok bound!  First we’re going to the border Poi Pet, Cambodia.  The taxi ride was a lot shorter than we thought.  We had to wait in line forever for the visas.  If you enter through the border, you only get a 15 day visa.  This just recently changed in November.  The only good thing is that the Thailand visa is free.

We had some noodles at a small restaurant.  We hopped onto a minibus towards Bangkok.  We were lucky again since it was another ride that was shorter than usual. 

We took a taxi to the Khao San Road.  This is backpacker central in Bangkok.  It’s a street filled with hotels, restaurants and souvenir stands.  Jennifer couldn’t believe how many backpackers that we saw walking around.  We checked in at the D&D Inn right on the Khao San Road. 

We only had to walk down the road for dinner.  We went to the Khao Sarn Center.  Ivan ordered a red curry with chicken.  Jennifer got the green curry with chicken.  The Khao San Road has great food stalls.  My favorite is the one selling banana pancakes for 20 Baht.  I brought my dinner to the restaurant which was three banana pancakes.  Ivan and Jennifer really enjoyed their tasty food. 

We walked further to find a place for drinks.  There are several places serving cheap drinks right on the sidewalk.  Ivan and Jennifer enjoyed a drink and talked for awhile. 

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We then headed back to the hotel and went to bed.

We checked out of the D&D Inn on December 22, 2008.  We took a taxi to Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel.  It’s a little hard to find.  Ivan found this hotel on  Tripadvisor.  It’s a highly ranked hotel on their website. The place is charming and cozy.  We arrived there and a staff member brought us some sweet ice tea.  The rooms are great.  There’s hand painted art on the walls.  It’s like being in a country home.  There’s a cd player on the wall.  They provide music for daytime and nighttime.  They make their own soap that has no chemicals.  An organic breakfast is included with the room.  There is no tv in the room.  I guess that’s the only drawback to the hotel. 
The staff is very friendly.  We settled into our room.

We headed downstairs for lunch.  I got a banana and honey sandwich.  Both Ivan and Jennifer got the chicken pad thai.  It came with tempura vegetables.  The food was really delicious. 

We went into the city.  We had dinner at Tip Toe.  The food was alright there.  Ivan and Jennifer chilled at a bar and had some drinks.

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An Orphanage and more Countryside

Ivan, Jennifer and I went to have lunch at the Gecko Cafe on December 19, 2008.  The restaurant has some awesome banana shakes.  Ivan ordered the stir fried fish with gravy and cashew nuts.  Jennifer got the Cambodian Curry with rice.  She thought it wasn’t too good.  I had a nice stir fried banana and vegetable dish. 

We hopped in a tuk tuk.  Later on, we were going to an orphanage.  The driver took us to two stores.  We bought pens, chocolates and stickers for the kids.  We arrived at the orphanage.  We were greeted by the monk who runs the orphanage.  He told us about the story of the orphanage.  There are about 60 kids who stay there.  It seems we came at a bad time since most of the kids were at school. We saw the school area.  The sleeping area of the boys was also the English classroom – it’s the same for the girls room. 

We walked to an area where the kids were doing art.  There was a volunteer teacher there.  She was teaching the kids how to draw.  They had never drawn before.  One kid was very talented.  Ivan bought his picture and the money was a donated to the orphanage.  The kids asked Ivan if he wanted to play football (soccer).  Ivan and Jennifer played football with the kids. 

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They were on opposite teams. Jennifer wasn’t too good – she did like shouting and slapping hands with her teammates when her team scored.  The kids were a lot of fun to play with.  They loved the stickers we gave them.  They stuck some on my fur.  Some of them liked to put stickers on their forehead.  Ivan brought his iPod and played some music.  It was a good day hanging out with the kids. 

We went to the Gecko Cafe for a massage.  The deal they have is a free drink when you buy an hour massage.  We all got a nice massage with a tasty banana shake.  Another perk is the free wireless internet.  

We chilled at the hotel for awhile.  We walked to the Smokin’ Pot for dinner.  Ivan and Jen shared the spicy mango salad.  I had a nice banana and chicken rice entree.  Ivan got a good fish amok.  Jennifer had an okay spaghetti dish. 

We met up with Philay on the morning of December 20, 2008.  I was excited to explore more of Battambang.  The countryside is the highlight of this city.  Our first stop was the market.  We were in search of snakes. 

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There were many things being sold like fish, meats and even dog.  It was filled with people walking around.  Unfortunately, the snakes were already sold out. 

We went back on our motorbikes to our next destination.  We arrived at a training camp for circus performers.  The kids were formerly street kids. 

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The kids were practicing their acts like juggling on stilts or acrobatics.  Ivan tried juggling a few pins.  I tried going on the stilts, but it was difficult balancing.

Our next stop was a crocodile farm.  It was located in the backyard of somebody’s house.  There were dozens of crocodiles there.  It’s cool seeing these big creatures – but they don’t really do much. 

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It seems their life consists of lounging around, swimming and eating.

We were on the road again driving.  We stopped at the side of the road.  A family were making rice paper.  The mother would make the rice paper on the steamer.  Her son or daughter would pick up the paper and transfer it to big bamboo drying area. 

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They let the rice paper dry for hours.  Of course, it’s best when it’s sunny so the rice paper can dry.

We headed to Wat Ek Phnom.  It’s mostly in ruins.  It’s a place where couples go when they want privacy.  The Wat has many nooks for couples to hang out in.  There’s also a giant buddha at the Wat. 

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I wanted to climb it – but Jennifer thought that might be disrespectful.  No fun!  There was also a nice colorful building in the Cambodian style.  The style is very unique.

We were driving again on our motorbikes.  It’s nice to feel the wind blowing in your fur.  Philay stopped again.  There was a lady who had two big vases of snakes.  I believe they were caught recently.  I can’t believe Philay stuck his hand in the vase and grabbed a few snakes so we could see. 

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How brave of him!  Ivan, Jennifer and I do NOT like snakes.  I think it’s best to see them in a glass container.  It’s better that way – safer too!

And we were going to another destination.  It was a fish fighting place.  Several men were seated around a dozen jars of fish.  It doesn’t sound very exciting and it’s not really.  It’s different from cock fighting.  There are no rounds in fish fighting.  It goes on until one of the fish runs away and he’s declared the loser.  So, it can really go on for hours.  Yes, of course you can place bets as well. 

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The fish all look the same.  Ivan asked how can they tell the fish apart.  Philay just they just know.  All this fighting made me think of a concept for a game.  Two monkeys are placed in a ring.  Then somebody throws a banana in the middle.  The winner is the monkey who captures the banana.  I think that would be worth watching!

It was finally lunchtime!  We were all hungry by this point.  We stopped by the riverside for lunch. The restaurant was a wood hut.  It was a bit scary walking around since it seemed like it could collapse at any time.  There was no menu.  Ivan ordered a fish.  Jennifer wanted some chicken.  I decided to order a banana noodle dish. 

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The ingredients were fresh from the farm.  We chilled on hammocks while we waited for our lunch to come.  The food was good. 

Our last stop was the ancient house.  It was an old house that was built hundreds of years ago.  The house was made out of dark wood.  The house wasn’t anything special except that it was really old.

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Battambang countryside

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up really early on December 17, 2008.  We took a truck to the harbor.  We hopped on the crowded boat heading to Battambang, Cambodia.  The boat was full on the bottom – so we headed to the roof.  The day was overcast for a little while.  The sun came out and it was hot.  Ivan played some music on his iPod speakers.  The day actually flew by.  The boat ride was 8 hours long. 

We checked in to the Royal Hotel.  That night, we walked to the White Rose restaurant.  The food was not good there.  Jennifer a noodle dish and it barely had any noodles.  Ivan got a fish amok, but it didn’t resemble an amok at all.  I’m glad I brought my own banana sandwich. 

Ivan read on Gobackpacking Blog about Philay.  He’s a guide living in Battambang.  Ivan found him and set up a countryside sight-seeing day.  So, we woke up on December 18, 2008.  We set off on a motorbike following Philay.  We drove for a long time.  We got to see cockfight training.  Here the cocks fight only for a few rounds.

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We stopped at Victory restaurant for a drink.  We walked up a big hill.  Here we saw a girl monkey who stayed on the hill.  She was shunned by her monkey tribe.  She actually ate practically anything like rice. 

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I offered her a banana which she seemed to like a lot.  We walked to Phnom Sampeau (Killing Cave). 

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It’s where many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge.  We visited a temple on the hill also.  We walked down the hill.  We had lunch at Victory restaurant. 

We drove around some more.  It was nice driving around.  It’s really dusty though.  We saw Crocodile Hill – which doesn’t look like a crocodile really.  Then, we went to see real cockfighting.  There was betting going on.  There wasn’t a girl in sight.  Jennifer wore a yellow skirt this day.  So, all the men’s eyes were on her.  I guess Cambodian women don’t show their legs much.  The men massage the chickens before they fight.  They sew their eyes shut before the fight.  Then, they sew them open right before the fight.  The fight is won if the other chicken runs away or one chicken dies.  The cockfighting training seemed more exciting.  Our last stop was the Bamboo Train.  This is a train made out of bamboo – it’s actually just a platform. 

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The tracks aren’t aligned correctly so the train jumps every now and then.  We saw a great sunset on the train. 

We took a motorbike to the Riverside Balcony Bar & Restaurant.  You walk upstairs and the dining area and bar overlooks the riverside.  Unfortunately, it was dark so we couldn’t see the river.  I ordered a banana and chicken sandwich.  Ivan got the tuna sandwich while Jennifer got a chicken fillet.  The sandwiches were great!  Ivan and Jennifer shared one delicious apple crepe – it came with vanilla ice cream on top.

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Temples and the Landmine Museum

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up early on December 15, 2008.  We got into a tuk tuk and headed towards the temples.  Our first stop is Angkor Wat, the most famous temple.  It’s huge!  It was really hot out.  So, it was better walking inside the temples to keep cool. 

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There’s pictures of ladies on the wall and many statues around the temple.  Next, we went to Ta Prohm.  It’s famous for the trees.

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We saw so many other temples like Ta Keo, Thomma Nom and Chau Say Thevoda.  We went to another famous one called Bayon.  It has some great faces on the big towers.  The ladies look like smiling Cambodian ladies.

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There’s also some great carvings on the walls that showed a story.

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We did so much walking.  We were templed out on day one.  It was amazing to see these great temples.  We agreed that they start looking the same after awhile.  We did all these sites in one day.  Ivan read that some people spend all day just in Angkor Wat.  I guess they thoroughly look at everything.  I think that would be rather boring and tiring. 

We noticed monkeys at the side of the road.  Ivan asked the driver to stop.  These monkeys were tame.  Ivan bought two bags of bananas.  He handed one to me.  Ivan and Jen fed the monkeys.   The monkeys would peel the bananas and eat them. 

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I wanted to feed them, but I kept the bananas for myself.  I don’t think the monkeys liked that. 

For sunset we went to a great Phnom.  The sunset was alright.  It was cloudy so it wasn’t as impressive.  You could see Angkor Wat in the distance. 

That night, we went to Viva Mexican for dinner.  Ivan had the chicken fajitas.  Jennifer ordered the pollo asada. 

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I got a Mexican banana pizza.  The food was quite good.  Ivan and Jennifer enjoyed a mango margarita.  It didn’t taste anything like mango though. 

That night we went to Madam 1 for a massage.  Ivan and Jennifer got the four hands massage.  I was next door for my one monkey massage.  It was the same cute monkey named Suzy.  She gives a great massage!  Ivan and Jennifer had a great time with the ladies.  They were laughing during most of their massage.  We definitely needed a massage after the long day of temples.

On December 16, 2008, we went to Pub Street for lunch.  We went to Khmer House.  Ivan had the fish amok while Jennifer got the chicken amok.  I ordered the fried rice with pineapples and bananas.  The food was okay.  The dessert was nice though – fried bananas with honey and butter. 

We took a ride to the Cambodian Land Mine Museum.  Akira is a man who was in the Khmer Rouge and planted land mines in Cambodia.  But, later on he started removing mines.  The museum also houses land mine victims.  There were lots of mines and other war items like guns in the museum. 

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On the side, there was a fake land minefield.  Posted on the wall were stories about land mine victims.  Ivan talked to Akira about removing mines.  There’s a new international law that makes removing mines a longer process.  He reckons that it’s not as safe.  He wishes that he could teach people to remove them his way.  This would be a safer and faster way about it.  Akira invited us to remove mines the next day.  But, we’re headed to Battambang tomorrow.  Ivan thought it might be boring most of the day since they would have to search for them.  Jennifer thought it might be dangerous.

For dinner, we went to Le Tigre de Papier for pizzas.  Ivan and Jennifer started off with a nice papaya salad.  Ivan had a vegetarian pizza.  I had a banana pizza.  Jennifer got the margarita pizza.  Ivan’s pizza wasn’t too good because of the cheese.  We walked around Pub street and then went back to the hotel to sleep.

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Massages, Quads and Horseback riding

Ivan, Jennifer and I went to have lunch at The Blue Pumpkin on December 13, 2008.  I’m not sure why the restaurant is called the blue pumpkin.  Even a monkey like me knows that pumpkins are orange like bananas are yellow.  The upstairs part has white beds you can lounge on while you eat.  We sat down in this great area.  For the appetizers, Ivan ordered the wheat crackers with three dips like the salsa.  Ivan got the tofu salad.  Jennifer got a tuna sandwich on foccacia bread. 

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She thought it was the best tuna sandwich she ever had.  I had a good banana amok ravioli dish.  The restaurant also offers ice cream, desserts and pastries.  Ivan and Jen shared a Tulip Delight which comes with three flavors that you choose.  They got mango and strawberry sorbet and banana and galangal.  It comes in a cone dish.  I had some of the banana and galangal – it tasted nice.

We went to Dr. Feet.  Ivan and Jennifer were getting a reflexology massage.  I just watched while the ladies poked a pointy brown wood into pressure points on their feet and toes.  It looked like it hurt.  The ladies also massage their lower legs, head and face. 

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Ivan and Jennifer felt better after, but weren’t sure if the reflexology actually worked.  I would like to try reflexology one day, but I would want some proof that it works first, because I don’t really like strangers touching my little monkey feet. I am very ticklish there – its all that fur you know.

We went to a tuk tuk and drove to the Quad Adventure Cambodia place.  Ivan was going to be the driver with me and Jennifer right behind him.  We were taking the Sunset on the Rice Paddies ride.  We drove through the countryside. 

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It was a nice sunset.  It’s great driving along but the quads are noisy. 

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We even drove through an area where a temple is located. 

For dinner, we went to the Khmer Kitchen.  Ivan and Jen started off with a nice mango salad.  Jennifer ordered a Khmer curry with chicken, onions, potatoes, pumpkin and carrots.  Ivan got a coconut and pumpkin soup.  I brought my own monkey-made banana and cheese sandwich.  Ivan and Jennifer thought the food was good.

We walked to Madam 1 to get a massage.  Ivan and Jennifer asked for the four hands massage with oil.  It was $10 each.  I was lucky -the place offered a private one monkey massage for $5.  I was in the next curtained off area.  Ivan and Jennifer loved getting massaged by two ladies each.  It felt great.  I liked my massage too.  

We woke up on December 14, 2008 and went downstairs for the free breakfast.  It wasn’t much just toast and tea.  I had toast with bananas.  We checked out of The Villa.  We took a tuk tuk to the Siem Reap Hostel.  We checked in and brought our backpacks to our room.  We walked to The Passage (the alley behind Pub Street) to eat lunch at Burgers without Borders.  It’s a gourmet burger restaurant with good extras for your burgers.  I ordered the Banana Burger with honey and nuts. 

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Ivan got a veggie burger with cranberry mayo.  He also got a side of green chili hummus.  Jennifer got a cheeseburger with cranberry mayo.  She got a side of raisin coleslaw.  The food tasted terrific! 

We got into a tuk tuk and went to the Happy Ranch Horse Farm.  The farm is a big place with two areas for the horses to run around in.  Jennifer got a smaller horse named Bunny.  Ivan’s horse was a pretty white horse named Tiffany.  Jennifer has only ridden a horse once or twice before – so she got a lead to help guide the horse.  If she felt confident enough, she could tell the lead to stop helping her. I was riding behind Jennifer.  So, we trotted through the countryside.  Jennifer was trying to make Bunny go to the left. 

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The horse kept trying to eat rice paddy leaves.  She didn’t seem entirely comfortable with guiding the horse to the left or right.  At one point she hit the horse with her heels.  The horse started going really fast. The leads were very helpful making the horse go faster and giving her leaves.  Ivan was doing great though. 

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He’s been on horses a lot more.  We stopped at a temple.  The ride was very relaxing.  We passed by many children.  They love to wave and say Hello.  Some even tried to grab me, probably since they don’t see many monkeys riding horses. 

We took a tuk tuk back into town.  We walked to the Night Market.  We wanted to check out the 3D movie at 6 pm.  Ivan saw a sign for Dr. Fish.  He read about it in Lonely Planet.  Ivan and Jennifer wanted to try it.  There’s a pool filled with loads of fish swimming around looking hungry.  You put your feet inside and the fish eat the dead cells off your feet. Its like getting a massage.  I didn’t try it since I’m ticklish.  Ivan and Jennifer put their feet in.  They laughed for like a minute.  Then they got used it. 

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Their feet felt really smooth after the 15 minute fish massage, and the fish looked like had had a tasty meal.

We checked out the souvenir shops and did a little bit of shopping.

We bought tickets for the 3D movie called On the Trail of Snake Huntrs.  We had a private viewing because we were the only ones watching.  The movie showed us how they catch snakes.  The snake hunters don’t use any protection when hunting.  Also, we saw a lady selling snakes.  The movie was interesting. 

We walked back to the hostel.  The hostel is great – it has a pool table, movie room, pool and free internet.  We relaxed for awhile.  We went downstairs for dinner.  Ivan ordered a pumpkin soup and chicken pad thai.  Jennifer got the stir fried noodles with chicken.  I ate two yummy banana pancakes with chocolate.  The food was good.  We decided to sleep early since we were going to the temples tomorrow and little monkeys need plenty of sleep if they are going to be walking around the famous Angkor Wat Temples. Well thats what my dad told me anyway.

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Siem Reap

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up super early at 7 am on December 11, 2008.  We got all of our luggage and checked out of The Aquarium bungalows.  Ivan and Jen had muesli with yogurt and fruit.  I had yogurt and bananas.  We took a tuk tuk to the bus station.  It was an express bus to Siem Reap.  We would be stopping in Phnom Penh first and then boarding another bus.  The first bus was 4 hours long. Jennifer and I took a long nap.  The bus was nice.  We were seated on the second floor of the bus in the front.  Ivan and Jennifer watched more Weeds episodes on the laptop.  We arrived in Phnom Penh four hours later at 12 pm.  Our bus to Siem Reap would leave at 12:30 pm.  We went in search of food.  We finally found a take away place near by.  Ivan got a tuna baguette while Jennifer got a chicken baguette.  I asked for a baguette since there was no banana on the menu.  I added my banana and honey into the baguette.  It was good but I didn’t have enough bananas – I had to save some for my snack later.

The second bus wasn’t as nice.  The bus was air conditioned, but there was only a small thing over each seat.  It was hot and we had a long 6 hour drive ahead of us.  I watched My Gym Partner’s a Monkey on Jennifer’s iPod.  Ivan and Jennifer watched more Weeds epsidoes.  We all fell asleep for a short time.  We arrived in Siem Reap around 6:20 pm.  We were so glad to get off that bus.  It was the hottest bus ride ever!

There was a free tuk tuk ride by the bus company.  We hopped in and drove to the Sala Bai Hotel.  The rooms were alright.  Ivan said we should check out The Villa which is right down the street.  The Villa Guesthouse had some great rooms, so we checked in.

We were all very hungry.  We walked to Pub Street to find dinner.  This is a great street that is closed at nighttime to traffic.  It’s filled with great restaurants and bars.  We sat down to eat at Pissa Italiano.  It was recommended in The Lonely Planet.  I ordered the banana pizza.  Jennifer had the Pizza Italia – which is ham and cheese.  Ivan got the tuna pizza.  The pizzas were a generous size.  The pizzas were awesome!  We were so stuffed after dinner.  Ivan wanted to check out some of the bars.  We stopped at the Funky Munky (great name!).  There was a quiz night going on – so we passed on this bar.  Angkor What? was too busy and we couldn’t find any empty seats.

We went to the Red Piano Restaurant.  Ivan read that Angelina Jolie had a cocktail named after her there.  Sure enough, the menu said try the Tomb Raider drink inspired by Angelina Jolie.  I had a boring banana and strawberry juice.  Ivan and Jennifer tried the Angelina Jolie drink.  The drinks’ ingredients are contreau, lime and tonic.  It was a plain drink.  Jennifer thought it tasted better after she squirted more lime in it.

Next, we went to the Banana Leaf.  I had a great non-alcoholic banana drink.  It was tasty!  Ivan and Jennifer got a banana drink with alcohol – but it tasted nothing like bananas.

On December 12, 2008, we walked to the Butterfly Garden for lunch.  It was a big garden with butterflies flying around freely.

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There is a big tank filled with goldfish.  The menu was a little pricey.  Ivan got a baguette and a soup.  Jennifer got a chicken pasta salad.  I got the banana amok.  The food was average.

We walked further into town.  It was nice to explore the city during the daytime.

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Jennifer loves the French style buildings.  We went to the pharmacy.

Jennifer signed up for a 3 hour spa package which included a massage, body scrub and facial.  Ivan wasn’t feeling good.  He had a headache and a stomachache.  Ivan and I went back to the guesthouse to rest.  Ivan tried to sleep but couldn’t.  He did get rest though.  I took a nice monkey nap.  We picked up Jennifer at 5 pm at the Bodia spa.  She had a great massage, body scrub and facial.

We walked back to the guesthouse to rest.  I worked on the blog.  Ivan and Jennifer watched some tv.  Ivan was still taking it easy.  We went to get some dinner.  Our guesthouse was having an all you can eat BBQ for $6 per person or monkey.  There was chicken sausages, baked potato, hamburgers, salad, chicken and fish kebabs.  I had the chef make me a special dish of banana, chicken and onions cooked in a banana leaf.  The food was really good.  I tried some baked potato for the first time.  It tasted better with bananas.  Jennifer wanted something sweet.  She ordered a brownie with vanilla ice cream.

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Ivan and Jennifer thought the brownie was great, but the ice cream was ok.  I had a delicious banana split with extra bananas.

We took it easy.  Ivan still wasn’t feel well.  We watched a lot of tv.  Ivan and I went to sleep early.  Jennifer stayed up and went on the internet to upload pictures to Flickr.

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Booze Cruise and Mexican food

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up around 9 am on December 9, 2008.  Breakfast was eaten and then we walked to Serendip.  We were going on a Booze Cruise.  The boat was supposed to leave at 10 am but didn’t end up leaving until 10:20 am.  If you haven’t figured it out, the point of a booze cruise is to drink a lot and have some fun.  I was hoping to have some fun since I was the only monkey on board.  I was also going to be the only sober one on the boat.  Everybody was given a free shot of Jagermeister and Red Bull.  Ivan and Jennifer were drinking.  The group was filled with mostly men.  It was a lively, fun group.

We went to an island with a beach.  The people who wanted to go cliff diving got off the boat.  Earlier, the guide Tom was saying we had to be careful of jumping since there were sea urchins on rocks.  If a sea urchin got in your foot, the only way Tom could get it out would be to push it out the other side.  Jennifer wanted to do the jump.  She climbed on the rocks up towards the cliff.  I think it helped that she was drunk – otherwise she might not have done it.  I think she was crazy to do it.  The video will soon be online of her jump.  It was actually easy to jump.  Jennifer told me she wasn’t scared and just jumped.  She had thought of doing a cannonball but seemed to forget about it.  She ended up falling on her thighs.

Jennifer jumping off the cliff!

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Jennifer after the cliff jump

People thought she belly flopped.  She was glad she did it since it was fun.

Everybody got off the boat and went to the beach.  There was volleyball net set up.  Lunch was being cooked for us.

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We went swimming in the warm water.  It was really shallow water.  Jennifer played volleyball – but she wasn’t very good.  She’s so short, she couldn’t get the ball over the net when she served.  We had an alright lunch of burgers.  I just had a banana sandwich.

We were sitting on the beach and swimming around.  It was a really nice day.  At one point, Jennifer was chasing this guy and trying to beat him up.  She kept saying why are you running from a girl?  The chasing stopped.  Then the guy started throwing sand at her in the water.  Jennifer started chasing him again.  Ivan asked what did the guy do to you?  She said she had no idea why she was chasing him.  Jennifer would throw punches at him.  He through her on the ground.  It didn’t stop her – she just kept chasing him.  Jennifer did hurt her finger when she tried to grab his water bottle.  It pulled off skin from her finger.  It was funny seeing this guy getting chased by a girl.  I watched the chasing around from a tree and laughed a lot.  Ivan told Jennifer that he was scared of her since she was small and scary.  I made a mental note of not making Jennifer mad.

It was time to go back to Serendipity Beach.  The boat ride seemed really long on the way back.  I think it was because we were so tired and wanted to get back.  The sunset was really nice.

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We finally arrived at 6 pm.  We got changed in the room and wanted to get some food.

We walked up the street to the Reef Resort.  The resort has a Mexican restaurant called The Mexican.  Ivan and Jennifer got the chicken satay for a starter.  Ivan ordered the chicken fajitas.  Jennifer got spicy beef tacos.  I got the banana taquitos.  The food here is great.  Ivan loved his chicken fajitas.  We all decided we might be back for more Mexican food soon.  We went back to the room to watch some tv.  We were weary from the crazy crui se.

We went to the beach again to relax on December 10, 2008.  Ivan found some chairs where we could lay down.  The chairs were covered by an umbrella.  We went swimming for a short while.  Then, we laid down.  Ivan and Jennifer were reading books.  I took a short monkey nap.  Jennifer got a manicure and pedicure.  She also got hair taken off her legs.  The lady used a string.  She said it would last three months – but Jennifer didn’t believe that.  She had her upper lip hair done with the string technique in Dali, China and it didn’t last three months.  It didn’t matter the manicure, pedicure and hair removal only cost $5 total.  There’s always people trying to sell you things like jewelry or fruit.  Ivan and Jennifer got some pineapple and mango from a Cambodian girl.  She chopped it up in small pieces.

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Of course, I got my favorite – bananas!

It was dinnertime and we headed to The Mexican again.  The same starter of chicken satay was ordered.  Ivan got the chicken fajitas again.  Jennifer got the spicy chicken burrito.  I tried the banana fajitas.  Again, the food was so good!  We went back to the bungalow.  We slept early since we had to wake up early.  We had a long bus ride ahead of us going to Siem Reap in the morning.

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Chillin’ on the Beach

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of the Beach Road on December 7, 2008.  We walked down towards the Serendipity beach.  We checked in at The Aquarium bungalows.  It’s a room located really close to the beach.  We chilled at the beach all day.  It was nice to just relax and bask in the sun.  Ivan and Jennifer went in the water for a little while.  The beach wasn’t too crowded.

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I liked just sitting on a comfortable chair and sipping on a banana shake. 

There’s a few restaurants on the beach that have BBQ dinner for $3.  It comes with garlic bread, vegetables, and the choice of rice, baked potato or chips.  We had dinner at the Serendip restaurant.  Ivan got the barracuda.  Jennifer ordered the chicken and I got the banana with honey sauce.  The food comes with a spicy sauce.  The garlic bread was a little spicy as well. 

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The food tasted great.  Ivan and Jennifer shared a vodka bucket.  I wish I could have had some.  I just had a great banana juice.

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We walked up the road to the Monkey Republic.  It’s filled with monkey decorations.  I played with a few monkey upstairs.  Ivan and Jennifer had a drink.  They wanted to check out the nightclubs. 

We hopped into a tuk tuk and went to the Amazon Superclub.  It was filled with Cambodian people.  There was lots of lasers flashing on the dancefloor.  The music was horrible, sappy love music.  Ivan wanted to check out Villa.  It’s a nightclub that’s supposed to have trance, techno and goa music.  The Villa was really empty.  The music wasn’t techno, trance or goa.  It was far from it.  We decided to head back to our bungalow on the beach.

We woke up on December 8, 2008 and had breakfast at The Aquarium.  We hopped into a tuk tuk headed towards Otres Beach.  Ivan saw that there was horse riding on this beach.  Ivan went to search for the horse riding but didn’t find anything. 

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The beach is kind of empty compared to Serendipity Beach.  I think it’s a little nicer too.  Lunch was at The Daiquiri restaurant right on the beach.  Ivan had a green curry.  I had a banana noodle dish.  Jennifer got a fried chicken salad.  The food was alright. 

We went back to the bungalow and hung out for awhile.  It was dinnertime so we headed to the Serendip.  Of course, we ordered the BBQ.  Ivan tried the red snapper this time.  I got banana and onions cooked in a banana leaf.  Jennifer got the chicken again.  Once again the food was very tasty.

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