Posts Tagged ‘market’

Scenes from Kuala Lumpur

Posted in Malaysia on March 17th, 2010 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Thursday, March 11th, till Sunday, March 14th. Below are some of my favorite pictures from my 4 days there. You can also check out my posts on the Islamic Art Museum and my visit to the Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge.

I flew with Air Asia from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was treated to a lovely sunset in the air:

Sunset from an airplane over Malaysia

Sunset from an airplane over Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and is home to almost 2 million people. Unlike Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital which has a higher population and only 1 significantly tall building, Kuala Lumpur is full of skyscrapers. It also has multiple rapid train systems which keep the various areas of the city well connected.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

While wandering around near Pasar Seni (Central Market) I saw some Graffiti I really liked:

Graffiti near Pasar Seni - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Graffiti near Pasar Seni - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If you’re a shopper you should check out Petaling Street (Jalan Petaling) in Chinatown. There’s plenty to buy during the day, and a whooole lot more at night when the street gets so packed with stalls and shoppers it takes you 5 minutes to walk 50 feet. It was so dense I couldn’t even get a picture! I personally liked the markets in Phnom Penh better because I found clothes that were more my style there, but there is something for everyone on Petaling Street, and the prices are great! Bargain hard, though. The prices will start out incredibly inflated and you can usually end up paying 1/4th or less of the first price a seller gives you. The walk-away tactic works exceptionally well here.

Petaling Street - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Petaling Street entrance - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Another interesting place to check out is Little India. There’s plenty of great food to try, and there’s decent shopping too, especially during the weekly night market on Saturdays.

Saturday Night Market - Little India, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In Little India I bought myself a Punjabi Suit (beautifully decorated colorful long tunic + pants + scarf). I had been wanting one for a while, and after trying a bunch of shops I found one that I knew was made for me as soon as I saw it. I got the price down from 280rm to 120rm, including adjustments done in shop to make it fit me exactly. I love it so much I want to go to India just so I can wear it all the time :)

So there’s this fruit called Durian that smells incredibly terrible. Like gagging when you smell it terrible. Apparently it tastes fantastic though; the saying is “tastes like heaven, smells like hell”. Anyway, durian is banned from most hotels and hostels because of the smell, so you see signs like this up all over:

No durian sign - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

When it came time for me to leave Kuala Lumpur to go home I went to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and found out that my flight was delayed 6 hours due to snow in Beijing. Lame. I passed the time by walking around and taking pictures.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport

People in Kuala Lumpur International Airport

People in Kuala Lumpur International Airport

People in Kuala Lumpur International Airport

People in Kuala Lumpur International Airport

I ended up missing my 2nd flight and getting stuck in China for 24 hours. Post about that next time on vagablonding dot com!

Phnom Penh’s Markets

Posted in Cambodia on March 11th, 2010 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

Phnom Penh is an excellent place to buy cheap knockoff clothes and accessories, beautiful fabrics, and Cambodian souvenirs. The best market for everything is the Russian Market in the south part of town. I visited this market about 5 times and bought, among other things, $2 tshirts, $1 tanktops $4 purses, $4 skirts, $3 dresses, an $8 Central America on a Shoestring Lonely Planet, and a lovely stone statue of an Apsara dancer for $25. The Russian Market, so called because the Russians used to shop there, is also known as Psar Toul Tom Pong. Don’t confuse it with the Orussey Market, they are totally different and are quite far away from each other. Apparently back in the day the Russian Market was a place you could buy literally everything: guns, drugs, children, you name it. Now it is an innocent market full of bargains for tourists and locals alike. It gets going at around 8 in the morning and is totally closed at 6pm.

Fabric - Russian Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Russian Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Food stalls - Russian Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Another great market for clothes, bags and shoes is the Central Market. It’s in a large ugly yellow art deco nightmare of a building in the center of town. I bought a ton of clothes here, but be warned: you won’t find much if you don’t wear small sizes. I wear an extra small shirt in the US and I bought larges here. They do have a range of sizes for men, though. The Central Market is really big and confusing to navigate. I still have no idea exactly how much of it I saw on my 3 trips there. It also opens around 8am and starts closing between 5 and 6pm.

Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tshirts - Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Shoes - Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Clothes - Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

On the weekends you can go to the Night Market. The Night Market is fairly new and is aimed at tourists, so bargain hard for low prices. Anything you see at the Night Market can also be found at Russian Market or Central Market, often for a better price. Located on the Riverfront near Wat Phnom, The Night Market begins setup around 5pm and starts winding down at 9pm.

There are also many traditional markets which are great for buying fruit, ugly shoes, or getting your nails done for $1; assuming you can stand the overpowering fish smell! These markets are where Cambodians go to shop for themselves. They are full of excellent photo opportunities, as well as stalls selling those delicious little bananas I have become addicted to. Take a wander through at least one, but be prepared to hold your breath, the smell of meat and fish can be quite strong.

Smokin’ Pot in Battambang

Posted in Cambodia on February 15th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 9 Comments

Smokin' Pot Cooking School - Battambang, Cambodia

The morning of Monday, February 15th, was spent riding the public bus for 6 hours to Battambang. The air-con was on full blast so it was freezing and there was a tv blaring loud hilarious music videos of teenage Cambodian boys singing American rap songs in Khmer. But thanks to my anti-nausea medication I was able to sleep through most of it.

At 3pm we went to the Smokin’ Pot Thai-Cambodian Cooking School. We were going to make 3 dishes: Vegetable Amok Curry, Lok Lok Veggies, and a Spicy Cabbage Salad. Mom and I made ours vegetarian but the other people in our group made the first dish with fish and the second with beef.

First we went to market and bought all the ingredients.

Market - Battambang, Cambodia

Market - Battambang, Cambodia

Then we walked to the Smokin’ Pot restaurant to cook. It was incredibly fun. We ate each dish as they were finished and by the end I was so full I gave the rest of my salad and mom’s salad to a begging girl and her baby.

Vegetable Amok Curry veggies:

Amok curry vegetables

Vegetable Amok Curry spices:

Amok curry spices

Cooking the curry:

Cooking Vegetarian Amok

All done! Yum :)

Vegetarian Amok Curry

Now for the Lok Lok stir fry:

Lok Lok vegetables

Lok Lok

And finally the spicy salad:

spicy cabbage salad

Phnom Penh: Colorful Cambodia’s Capital City

Posted in Cambodia on February 13th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 2 Comments

Mom and I landed in Phnom Penh late at night on Friday, February 12th, after many hours of flying. The immigration process was painless; the visa cost $20 and customs stamped a lot of stuff I couldn’t see and took my picture. Unfortunately the official taxi stand closes around 10pm so we had to hire a random taxi which cost $9. From the taxi I saw a guy getting the crap kicked out of him by two other guys on the side of the road. Ouch.

We stayed the night at the Town View Hotel where we had a room with two twin beds, air-con, hot water, mini-fridge, and tv for $17 a night. It was very nice.

On the morning of Saturday, February 13th, we went to the top floor of our hotel and enjoyed the view before walking to a restaurant for breakfast.

View from hotel - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Buildings - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

For breakfast we got bread and jam for $1, Chinese fried noddles with veggies for $1.50, coffee for $0.70, and free tea. It was yummy; the bread here is delicious thanks to the French influence.

Breakfast - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

After breakfast we decided to wander in an arbitrary direction and we ended up coming upon a market full of fruit, flowers, meat, fish, and tons of people buying their food for the day.

Vegetable stall in the market - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Meat stall in the market - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fruit stall in the market - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Market - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

In the market there were many beggars. I gave this lady a dollar because she let me take her photo.

Beggar in the market - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We stopped to look in wedding shop with lovely dresses and over the top tiaras inside. There we met the people who own the shop. The man knew perfect English because he escaped from Cambodia to Australia during the massacre. He told us about the places he had been in the US, and introduced us to his wife and daughter. They invited us in and gave us cold bottles of water and a banana. The wife and daughter are learning English. The wife was too shy to practice on us, but I chatted with the 13 year old daughter for a while and her English was quite good. I exchanged emails with her and told her she can write me and keep practicing her English.

On the way back to the hotel for a rest we passed a celebration for the Chinese New Year. Men and boys dressed in red played music while men in dragon costumes danced into the temple.

Chinese New Year celebration - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Chinese New Year celebration, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

There were lots of locals watching the celebration as well and when the kids saw me taking pictures they wanted me to take their pictures too.

Local kids - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Also I saw this sign near our hotel, I think it’s hilarious:

Rambo sign - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

In the late morning we rested before checking out and taking a tuk-tuk ($3) to our new hotel, the Sokha Heng Guesthouse. The guesthouse is near the Royal Palace and the waterfront where the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers meet, a much more touristy part of town. Our room has all the same amenities as the Town View Hotel. I don’t know how much it costs per night because it’s included in the trip cost of the Intrepid Travel tour we are about to start.

Family - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

After checking in, mom and I wandered down to the waterfront to get some lunch. When we passed a Lebanese restaurant called Le Cedre I knew I had to get a falafel sandwich ($3.50) because they’re tasty… and also to make Ryan jealous 😉 it was very good, but I think the ones in Costa Rica were just a tad better.

Me at the waterfront - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Flags - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

There were more Chinese New Year celebrations going on at the waterfront. People were burning incense, leaving flower offerings, and releasing little birds into the air over the river for good luck. We sat in the shaded grass and people watched until it was time to go back to the hotel for our Intrepid welcome meeting.

Fruit seller - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This guy wasn’t celebrating, just sitting on his motorcycle looking intense:

Man - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

For dinner we went out with our Intrepid group to a restaurant that employs orphaned kids, helps them learn English, and teaches them food service skills they can use to get jobs later in life. I was still full from lunch so I had a small plate of fries for $2 and an Angkor beer for $1. The kids that work there and also the beggar children know our group leader well. One little girl aged maybe 7 or 8 who was selling copied books started making fun of him saying ‘no way you don’t have a girlfriend!!!’ It was too cute. Not cute enough to get anyone to buy a book, though.

In the restaurant were THE most annoying tourists I have ever been around. This drunk middle aged fat Australian guy, along with his obscenely loud and equally pudgy daughter, was causing quite a scene when he very loudly and repeatedly asked the waiter if he could buy a marijuana cigarette from him and got douchy when told no. Apparently they are staying at our guesthouse because as I am typing this they are here in the lobby. His daughter is telling her brother about how he apparently crashed a bar playing music after leaving the restaurant, sat at the drum set and tried to play, then tripped over a stage light, broke it, and refused to pay for it, and finally got kicked out. Now he is eating a banana I just saw him pluck from the Buddhist shrine. What. An. ASS. I am trying to be all Dalai Lama and see this as just an opportunity to practice my patience but man is it hard.

Anyway, tomorrow we are going on a cyclo tour around the city in the morning. In the afternoon we are going on what our group leader has dubbed “the misery tour” where we will see evidence of Cambodia’s very dark and recent past at the Tuol Sleng torture centre and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.

Last days in Ubud

Posted in Indonesia on July 13th, 2009 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

ubud sign

In the morning we had a big breakfast of eggs, toast, fruit salad and coffee at hotel Puri Gong, then we set out to walk around Ubud. I saw a dress I really liked in a shop window but it was bright orange and not quite my size so they are making me one in dark grey for 200,000 and it will be ready for me to pick up tomorrow morning!

ubud street

In the afternoon I got tattoos at Creative Tattoo. Lionk the artist there was really nice and had a feather-soft touch! I got “Bali” in the Balinese script Hanacaraka on my right ankle and the symbol for Gili Air on the back of my neck. It took about half an hour total and cost me 550,000 including tip.

loink creative tattoo bali

creative tattoo bali

bali tattoo

loink creative tattoo bali

We had a late lunch on JL Gootama at Dewa Warung where I got Gado-gado. Dewa Warung has the best Gado-gado of any place I’ve tried, and it only costs 8,000!

ubud street

We went to the market again at the end of the day for more sunset-priced shopping. We went to Pizza Bagus for dinner and our last Bintangs. I got yogurt and muesli for 20,000 which was a little light on the muesli and heavy on the yogurt for my taste.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

After another big breakfast at Puri Gong we had some delicious tiramisu and cheesecake at a bakery on Jl Hanoman to celebrate my birthday. Then we hired a taxi for 50,000 to take us to visit Wayan Rana, the painter we met up on Campuan Ridge at the beginning of our trip. We bought 9 paintings and one wooden egg painting total, some for ourselves and some as gifts, 5 in frames and 4 singles, all for 800,000. Score!

On the way back we had the driver drop us off at the post office where we mailed a bunch of post cards to friends. It cost 8,000 per post card. We went to Dewa Warung for lunch again, then we headed back to hotel Puri Gong to pack before going to the market.

balinese praying

bali dog

Around sunset we hit up the market one last time where we bought carvings, t-shirts and sunglasses, and I gave a lady selling sarongs the purse I bought on the first day here because I didn’t need it anymore.

ubud sunset

After the market we went to Dewa Warung for our last dinner where I got a rice, spinach, coconut dish for 10,000 which was ok, and a mixed juice for 5,000 which was delicious as always. While we were eating the power went out!

We headed home to finish packing, then we checked out and got a taxi to the Denpasar airport for 140,000.

Goodbye Indonesia, we aren’t ready to leave! This has been an amazing trip and I plan on exploring more of this country very soon.

ubud landscape

Now on to Japan for a short adventure in Narita during our 10 hour layover there!

From Gili Air to Ubud via Perama boat and bus

Posted in Indonesia on July 13th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 2 Comments

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Happy birthday to me! I’m 23 today!

We woke up before sunrise, had some mango, pineapple, protein bars and coffee soda for breakfast before getting on our cidomo for a ride down to the jetty on the south end of the island. We boarded a local boat at 7:15am which took us to Bangsal. From the boat we could see where they harvest the pearls!

lombok pearl farm

perama boat sign

In Bangsal we walked on the main road to where the Perama bus picked us up to take us to Senggigi. You can tell which road to walk down because it’s where all the horse carts are waiting to offer you a ride. You can get a ride on a cidomo or a motorbike if you want to, but the walk down the road isn’t bad and going by foot saves you money. The bus stop is on the left side of the street before the tattoo shop. You will know it by the baby blue painted pillars, but otherwise there are no signs indicating that it’s the bus stop. We walked right past it the first time!

bangsal perama bus station

bangsal perama bus station

The bus to Senggigi goes along the coast and the views from the road are lovely. Lombok definitely has some stunning beaches and I am coming back to explore this island for sure someday!

perama bus

view from lombok road

view from lombok road coconut trees

Once in Senggigi, we took a local boat to the larger Perama boat, which left at 9:00am. A breakfast of coffee, banana pancakes, bananas and pineapple was waiting for us onboard. The boat was practically empty compared to the packed Perama boat we came on 12 days ago. The ride was much smoother and I read and napped for most of it. Lunch was served onboard at around 11:30am and consisted of rice, veggies, tempe and peanuts, fish, and watermelon. We arrived in Padang Bai at around 1:00pm. There we waited for the bus to Ubud.

perama boat and public ferry padang bai

The ride to Ubud took about an hour. We were dropped off at the Perama office where I waited with our bags while Ryan walked around trying to find a hotel that still had rooms available. We ended up staying at a place called Puri Gong Cottages on Jl Hanoman. We got a room with a double bed, air conditioning, and a view of the pool for 225,000 a night. The walls are rattan and are very thin with peep holes poked through them! We stuffed some toilet paper in the holes to keep out any prying eyes. Because the walls are so thin there is pretty much no noise barrier which makes sleeping well a bit difficult.

puri gong peep hole

After getting settled in our hotel we went to the market for some sunset-priced shopping. Everything is always cheaper at the end of the day because the shopkeepers get desperate if they haven’t made enough sales for the day. Then we had dinner at Biah-Biah on Jl Gootama.

Getting to Bali and first day in Ubud

Posted in Indonesia on June 5th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 2nd and 3rd, 2009

We started out leaving Portland, Oregon in the morning on June 2nd and flew to Vancouver, BC, Canada. From there we flew to Tokyo, Japan, and then on to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. From Denpasar we took a taxi to Ubud. Including layovers, we traveled for about 26 hours. Our flights went much smoother than we expected, thanks in part to the first class upgrade we got on the flight from Canada to Japan because the kind Japan Airlines counter lady thought Ryan was so tall that he needed a seat with more leg room! It was definitely the best flight I’ve ever had, with delicious food, lazy boy style reclining chairs, private tv screens with remotes, and free drinks!
The Denpasar airport was also much easier to deal with than we expected it to be. We did have to go through a chemical spray gate thing that was meant to disinfect us… I think. The spray left me feeling a little out of it and I had a weird taste in my mouth, but it wore off in not too long. The customs and visa on arrival process was painless. The visa cost $25 for a 30 day stay. We exited the airport and got a taxi at the taxi counter which can be found just to the right of the exit. The ride to Ubud took about 30 minutes because it was the middle of the night and there was little traffic, and our driver was hauling ass. The ride cost 195,000rp. The taxi driver was super friendly and asked us our first ‘Are you married?’ question. The polite answer is ‘Not yet.’ The driver is married, has 3 kids, and makes $150/month. We tipped him 50,000rp (a lot!)
We got to our hotel, the Artini 3 Cottages, at about midnight. The reception was just two guys sleeping outside on a deck. We were taken straight to a room, no questions asked. It tipped the guy who carried our bags $1 and we promptly passed out.

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Our hotel room at Artini 3 is fan cooled and has 2 twin beds, western toilet, hot shower with removable shower head but no curtain. This is very nice for $40 a night! The hotel grounds are beautiful and lush with flowers and statues of Ganesha, the Hindu god with the head of an elephant. There are rice fields that can be seen from the door of our room. Breakfast comes with the room. The coffee is strong and tastes fantastic. I ate a pineapple pancake with fruit, it was quite yummy.

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After breakfast we walked to Pasar Ubud (market) on the corner of Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Raya Ubud. For sale were tons of wood carvings and masks, paintings, little trinkets, jewelry, clothing, bags, shoes, and penis bottle openers? I bought a purse for $3 after some haggling down from 75,000rp.

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There are little offerings all over the street and anywhere there is enough space to place one. They are on statues, restaurant menus, entryways, sidewalks, etc, and it’s hard to not step on them accidentally.

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There are amazing temples everywhere, we need to buy sarongs so we can go in. Everyone is required to wear a sarong to enter the temples, including men.

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We didn’t get hassled too much while walking, just lots of guys offering you a taxi ride and when you say no they reply with ‘ok, how about tomorrow??’

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On the way back to Artini 3 we went to an internet cafe and wrote emails. It cost 10,000/hr but we found a cheaper place for 6,000/hr down the road when we continued on. It was very hot so we returned to Artini 3 and lounged in the pool for a few hours.
The hotel staff are very sweet and kind to us, they call us ‘my friend’ and always ask where we are going when we leave and if we enjoyed ourselves when we come back.
Later in the afternoon we went out walking again and got lunch at Kafe Suri. I got a really tasty huge plate of Nasi Campur for 30,000. Ryan got pad thai for same price but mine was yummier.

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There are stray dogs and cats all over the city. Lots are mangy looking but some are very cute. You don’t want to pet them though, they aren’t friendly and grow at you if you get too close.

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We crashed at 7:30pm and it had already been dark for an hour. It was a very good day, I love it here so far!

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