Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Look Back at...Thanksgiving

In an effort to keep the blog up to date, I sometimes miss interesting events here and there. I'd like to now turn the clock back several weeks and take a look at our Malaysian Thanksgiving.

We went to the Renaissance Hotel and they put out a pretty good spread.

In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving, they also had a "Cleveland" style clambake (huh?). They were steaming corn on the cob together with the shellfish. Mr. Happy asked if they could prepare a piece of corn for him minus the seafood. The waiter said he would see what he could do.

Several minutes later this came out.

Hmmmm. Not so much "corn" in the traditional sense.

It was followed by this.

Once again. Not corn.

Oh well, we were thankful nonetheless!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bonding in Bali


It's the Wedding Day!

The first order of the day - the Mandvo Ceremony.

After this, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch organized by the bride's parents. We then hit the beach rested until it was time to head back to the Presidential Suite for the wedding ceremony and reception.

We were greeted with fresh coconut milk.

Balinese traditional dancers were on hand to entertain us.

It was a fantastic time!

You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful setting to be married!

Congratulations Mili and Shubham!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Bali Bachlorette

We're in beautiful Bali!

Everyone is excited to celebrate Mili's wedding. But before her family gives her away, we celebrated with a proper Bachlorette Party!

We arrived at the AMAZING Rock Bar. If you visit Bali, don't miss this place. It is 360 degrees of sheer glamour! You can take a funicular to the bar.

But we decided we'd take in the sights and walk down (doesn't take a genius to figure out it's better to take the ride UP not down.)

A glass chaple for vowel exchanges

The height of fun

Mr. Happy on high

A true wet bar!

The beautiful sisters


The 'hens'

"Ah, the good life!"
The cocktails couldn't come fast enough for our Miss Mili!

It was an unforgettable, beautiful night!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Angkor Highlights

There have been MANY technical difficulties here at Cracked Pepper with a bug uploading photos and formatting. Hopefully the problem has been resolved.

Here are the highlights of our amazing trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia one of the most magical places on Earth!

Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Our first morning we left the Angkor Pearl before 5am in order to be at Angkor Wat for sunrise. Unfortunately, Mr. Happy's aunt forgot to reset her watch. She waited in the lobby from 4am! Good thing she has more energy than all of us!

Upon reaching this finalist for the New Seven Wonders of the World, we suddenly channeled Abbey Road.

Then we sat down and took it all in.

Ok, the sun is up. Can we go back to bed?

Finally, proper stairs!

After a quick breakfast back at our lovely hotel Angkor Pearl, we met up with our superb guide, Channa. We entered Angkor by the South Gate.
Our first stop: Angkor Thom

There are hundreds of faces carved into the Bayon at Angkor Thom.

Mugging for the camera

Eskimo kisses!

Taking a break while the tour guide hunts down missing members of our party!
Love in the ruins!
Viren, Buddah, Meredith

Channa patiently answers all of our questions.

We all loved Channa. If you visit Siem Reap, I highly recommend that you hire her. Not only is she an expert guide who speaks excellent English, but she is so thoughtful and looked after each member of our group from our youngest (6) to our oldest (74). She made sure everyone had a wonderful time! You can reach her by email: uy_channa2005@yahoo.com 

Channa holding everyone's bags so we could walk around more easily!

We then climbed in our tuk tuks and rode over to Ta Prohm.

Peek -a-boo

Ta Prohm is the temple that was featured in the Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider films. This temple has been left relatively untouched since its discovery. It is my favorite.

For hundreds of years, birds dropped seeds around the temples. Now, those seeds have grown into massive trees which are part of the structure of the temples.

Our very own Apsara dancer
Pounding chests in the Ta Prohm echo chamber.

We headed it home. It had been a long day :)

After a fantastic dinner in town where we feasted on Khamer food, we were ready to tackle the next morning. We'd seen it at sunrise, but now we were going to tour Angkor Wat properly with Channa.

Channa and Riana share a banana breakfast with some monkeys!

A "Wat" is a temple. Angkor Wat is the largest of the temple complexes in Angkor, Cambodia. It was built in the 12th Century.

View from the highest part of Angkor Wat. A VERY steep staircase.

If you plan to climb to the top you must be 16 and be sure that your knees and shoulders are covered. Also, your head must be bare. Remove your hat. When we visited there was a group of Muslim women who couldn't climb to the top because they wore head scarves.
The handsome photographer!

The Elephant Terrace
In the afternoon, we visited the floating village, Kompong Phluk. The trip is about one hour by tuk tuk.

Channa taught Rianna how to make origami birds along the way.

Boarding the big boat to reach the floating city.

Anchors Away!

Little Miss Orange

Kompong Phluk is a much better option than the closer Chong Khneas which is a Vietnamese village which is rather unpleasant in its full court pressure on tourists for money.


The Love Boat

Floating through the forest felt like we had stepped into the pages of a storybook.

On the way back to town we stopped off on the outskirts of the Full Moon water festival. It was packed! The next day we learned that during a similar festival in the capital Phenom Phen, a number of people died. So tragic.

We avoided the crowds and relaxed at the Foreign Corespondent's Club with some cocktails.

 It was another long day!

We all had a fantastic time. Siem Reap is one of my all time favorite places to visit!