Sneak Peek into our Oudong Mountain Adventure in Cambodia

Here’s a sneak peek of our little adventure to Oudong Mountain yesterday. It was my 3rd time to visit the place but yesterday’s visit was also significant as we were showing the place to our son.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Phnom Oudong is an ancient capital (from 1618 to 1866) of Cambodia. It is located in Kampong Speu Province, about 40 km northwest of Phnom Penh. It is a popular weekend picnic getaway for locals, especially at weekends. It is also a place visited by tourist who wish to safely witness a part of Cambodia that is a bit off the usual tourist trail.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

On the way in, we climbed about 509 steep stairs.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

At its peak there are magnificent temples and stupas and shrines dedicated to the by-gone kings such as PreahSanchakMonyChedai stupa (the newest stupa built there), Arthaross Temple, etc.

One of the beautiful golden doors in the newest stupa.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

The views from the top of the mountain are truly spectacular and breathtaking – the clear blue sky, the vast stretches of rice fields, the beautifully scattered coconut trees and palm trees, and the silvery fresh air.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

From the newest stupa, PreahSanchakMonyChedai, we walked to the south to see more old stupas and shrines and temples. We saw a huge Buddha statue in the last temple we visited.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

On the way back, we just kept walking down and followed the path from where the old temples and stupas were until we reached the base.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Overall, it was a great family day out. If you are visiting Phnom Penh, a half-day trip to Oudong Mountain is worth it.

Oudong Mountain

Oudong Mountain

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • You can get there by motorbike, tuktuk, local bus, or a taxi. It takes about 1.5 hour by tuktuk and it cost $30 for a roundtrip plus waiting time.
  • Don’t forget to bring your camera – Oudong is very picturesque.
  • Go there early. The midday sun made walking up the hills a little tough.
  • If you are sensitive to humidity, you take the other way, south of the new stupa, PreahSanchakMonyChedai stupa. This way, you do not need to climb steep stairs. Once you get at the base, take the unpaved road, just keep going until you see a building and some stairs.at the very end (about 100 meters from where the souvenir shops are). Then you start there and begin your journey.
  • There are local restaurants and souvenir shops at the base of the hill, although please keep in mind that the food there is traditionally local and there are no foreign dishes available.

Sun, Splash and Relax at Aquarius Urban Hotel in Phnom Penh

It was a quiet weekend for us, but what is better than a beautiful Sunday relaxing around the amazing rooftop infinity pool, swimming, enjoying a drink or two, an aperitif in the hand while watching a gorgeous sunset? With my two lucky charms, we headed to Aquarius Urban Hotel to splurge into an authentic afternoon escape.

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel is a haven oasis that nestles in the heart of the city surrounded by the consequential landmarks. It has an open sky bar and restaurant overlooking the charming city of Penh. The city view is unmatched – even at night as you can use the pool until 11pm. It’s shabby chic, tidy and calm. The food was good and the staff was friendly too.

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel

We lounge by the poolside while enjoying our food and drinks. Even though we certainly enjoyed swimming in their infinity glass walled salt water swimming pool, our best moment there was when we watched and experienced the tranquility of a stunning sunset arm-in-arm with my boys, that was truly a marvel. To be honest, its rooftop infinity pool is really amazing and I think it is the highlight of the hotel.

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Aquarius Urban Hotel

All in all, it’s a great place to gather with family or friends and then stay for dinner if you are so inclined. If you are in the Penh and if you wish to spend some calm afternoon or nights in the hustling city center, Aquarius Urban Hotel is for you.

Aquarius Urban Hotel

Top 12 Awesome Things to do in Brittany

I love the lovely region of Brittany. It’s one of the great historic provinces of France, located in the northwest. It’s my most favorite place in France for so many reasons – great diversity and unique with its remarkable history and Celtic heritage, spectacular natural landscape, gorgeous beaches, and excellent cuisine. To me, even the most idyllic postcard perfect picture of Brittany does not do justice to the place.

Brittany

Typical flower in Brittany

There are so many activities for visitors to enjoy during a stay in Finisterre – meander through the countryside or organize a tour of any of the region’s historic place. Brittany is all about living the good life – nature, heritage, good food and cider, and incredible people. Personally, after a month of stay in Brittany, I found it incredibly difficult to leave.

Love this garden in Roscoff

Since Brittany is a popular location for family holidays in France, here’s my top 12 awesome things to see and do when you visit this impressive region:

1.Wander along Carnac’s long and mysterious rows of standing stones.

The magnificent collection of Standing Stones in Carnac is one of the most extraordinary sites of Brittany. While you can find isolated manmade standing stones scattered throughout the whole region, Carnac features miles and miles of aligned standing stone. It has been protected by UNESCO World Heritage since 1996. We went there with our friends to see the exceptional 6000 years old Neolithic sites and the largest megalithic sites in the world.

Carnac

Carnac

2. Visit the 2nd oldest manmade  monument in the world.

The great Cairn de Barnenez is truly amazing – big pile of stones (75m long, 28m wide, 8m high) and very old (about 7,000 years old) as it was built between 4,800 and 4,000 B.C on a hill overlooking the Bay of Morlaix. It is known as the oldest and largest megalithic burial chamber in Europe, and the second oldest manmade monument in the world.
Did you know? It is about 2,000 years older than the first step pyramid of Egypt and it is much bigger than Stonehenge in the UK.

Cairn de Barnenez

Cairn de Barnenez

3. Explore the beautiful castles.

If you are tired of laying in the sunshine, there are quite a few beautiful castles in Brittany to explore and enjoy. We have visited the following: The Château de Brest (Castle of Brest), which has about 1700 years of history, and considered as the oldest castle in the world still in use. The Château du Taureau (Castle of the Bull), a 16th century defensive castle (about 500 year old castle) which has a messy past but also had lots of different uses in its history. The 16th century Château de Kerjean (Castle of Kerjean), which was originally built as a home for the Barbier family. It was open to the public in 2005 after being restored in the early 21st century.

The Castle of Brest

The Castle of the Bull

The Castle of Kerjean

4. Discover the amazing churches and abbeys.

In Brittany, I love the ancient, massive and elaborately embellished Catholic parish churches. We have visited at least 6 parishes: The Le Folgoet Notre Dame Basilica of the Virgin Mary is a gem of Gothic Flamboyant architecture as it has stunning beautiful Gothic style towers and stunning stained glasses. The Saint Thegonnec Church is famous for its funerary chapel and triumphal arch. The Guimiliau church in the village of Guimiliau is populary known for having the largest calvaries in the region, which are sculpted with about 200 figures. The Chapelle Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle in the little town of Locronan is one of the 12 stages along the pilgrimage route called Grande Troménie. The 16th century Notre Dame de Croaz Batz in Roscoff is well-known for its unique elegant Renaissance style bell tower.  The Cathedrale of St Corentin in Quimper is lauded to be the most beautiful gothic building in Brittany with its majestic stained glass windows.

Le Folgoet Notre Dame Basilica of the Virgin Mary

Saint Thegonnec Church

Chapelle Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle

Notre Dame de Croaz Batz

Cathedrale of St Corentin

5. Amble in the medieval towns.

There are so many medieval towns scattered everywhere in Brittany. Walking through the narrow, winding medieval lanes is all part and parcel of Brittany’s charms. In fact, we had a beautiful walk in the famous town of Locronan which has been listed as a Historic Monument in 1924 and has been awarded the title of most beautiful village in France. Landerneau is another gorgeous medieval town known for its remarkable architectural heritage most specifically the Rohan Bridge, built in the 16th century and inhabited for more than 500 years.
Did you know? Rohan Bridge is the only bridge in Europe that has still people living on it up to these days.

The little town of Locronan

Behind me is the Rohan Bridge in Landerneau.

6. Stroll in Foret de Huelgoat.

I love the stunning landscape and enchanting views in Foret de Huelgoat. It is a charming place to visit for an easy good walk or a picnic. Just time it right with the weather and stroll around the forest for a wonderfully enchanting excursion. In there you can find a great “chaos”, a large collection of huge boulders left after a glacier has melted.

Huelgoat

Huelgoat

7. Hill walking in the Moors of Cragou.

Are you fed up with seaside views but still up for a walk? In a beautiful area in Brittany, not far away from the ocean and with a fabulous climate, lies the wild Moors of Cragou. It is a Reserve area and serves as a haven for the wildlife so that the animals and plants can reproduce. In this area, people are forbidden to build houses, buildings or roads. The rocks stand 282 m above the sea level and remain untouched by mankind, with the exception of a few brave hill-walkers.

Moors of Cragou

Moors of Cragou

8. Day trip to Brittany’s islands.

Apart from its quaint villages, historic towns and breathtaking countryside, Brittany is also known for its pretty islands where you can have a perfect and peaceful break. While we were in Brittany, we hopped to Ile de Batz, one of its beautiful islands. We had a fantastic time there and one of the activities that I would never forget was when we leisurely walked around the whole island while enjoying its superb landscape. Indeed, it’s an exotic gem.

The island of Batz

The island of Batz

The island of Batz

9. Enjoy the magnificent coastal scenery.

Who wouldn’t love wonderful coastal scenery with rich flora and fauna, solitary lighthouses, pretty harbors, dramatic cliffs, amazing rock formations sculpted by the waves? There, the Channel sea meets the Atlantic ocean. The coastal area around Pointe Saint Mathieu provides a splendid views of the coast and a walking area for those who are nature lovers. The extraordinary coastal hamlet of Meneham is notable for its 17th century coastguard’s cottage with a stone roof surrounded by great boulders that are also scattered along the Kerlouan coastline. I am sure you’ll be bewitched by the serene landscapes because everywhere you turn the view is beautiful.

Pointe Saint Mathieu

Kerlouan

Hamlet of Meneham

10. Laze at Brittany’s lovely beaches.

Brittany has loads of great sandy beaches. I noticed that they are rarely really crowded because the water is so cold. Personally, I love the beach, though! We usually go to the Pontusval and Keremma. In Pontusval you can see a lighthouse, the water is very clear and many rocks that have formed intriguing shapes are scattered everywhere, while in Keremma there’s a 6km line of sand dunes (slowly disappearing though L) and translucent water. There are many seaside activities and watersports to enjoy – sunbathing, swimming, fishing, shellfish gathering, diving, sailing, kayaking, etc. The beaches in Brittany are simply a must see!

Pontusval Beach

Pontusval

Keremma Beach

Kerlouan Beach

11. Smack Breton luscious food.

Another thing that you should not miss when you are in Brittany is to try their delicious food – oysters, crepe, Breton butter cake and many more. If you are an oyster lover you can find great oysters in Cancale, a small town in Brittany. Crepe is a traditional Breton food. There are sweet crepes which are made with wheat flour and savory crepes made with buckwheat flour. The Breton butter cake (Kouign Amann) is a rich, mouth-watering dessert made of dough, butter and sugar.

Crêpe Flambée

Breton butter cake (Kouign Amann)

12. Don’t forget to taste Cider.

Even though Brittany does not produce wine, it produces Cider which is considered as Breton’s traditional drink. It is usually drank from clay cups to bring out the earthy flavor of the cider.

An afternoon at the Science Gallery and Science Discovery in Kids City.

Since our son is a little Science geek, we took him to the Science Gallery and Science Discovery at Kids City. The exhibits and activities there aim to explain how the world works.

@ the Science Gallery

Mirror

On the 8th floor is the Science Discovery. It has interactive science lab with more than 60 Science activities and experiments for children aged 12 years old and below.

George Peter assembled the different components of the parallel circuit.

Bravo, George Peter! You did it!

The Science Gallery is on the 9th floor. It contains experiments, displays, and activities that are really well thought out of fun such as human gyro, magnet display, hot air balloon experiment, high-wire bicycle, and electricity table.

Gravity Well – one of the activities he really enjoyed.

Learning about sounds.

Personally, I like it there because most of the exhibits are interactive. Not only the children will learn different things like gravity, sounds, the solar system, etc, but they’ll also be learning in the funniest way possible.

Learning about the solar system.

Conquered his fear of heights through the high-wire bicycle.

Alan tried the Human Gyro

A picture taken through color Kaleidoscope.

It is also safe to do the activities – they have trained staff and the equipment is new and mostly imported from Europe.

Colors

Colors

We spent about 2 hours in the Science Gallery and another 1.5 hours in the Science Discovery, and our son loved his time there. He was fascinated with all the displays and enjoyed all the activities. Certainly, it was a good place for him to relax and enjoy one of his afternoons in Phnom Penh.

Learned how wire buzzer works.

Having fun with the Bernoulli Blower.

Learning about the iris part of the eye.

Indeed, the Science Gallery and the Science Discovery in Kids City are enthralling learning facilities.

Learn more about sounds.

Learn more about sounds.

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is conveniently located in Sihanouk Boulevard, just beside Lucky Supermarket.
  • You have to pay for every activity.
  • Most of the activities are designed for children 12 years old and below.
  • It is open from 10AM to 8PM (Monday to Fridays) and from 9Am to 8PM for weekends and holidays.

Have you taken your child to the Science Gallery and Science Discovery in Kids City? What activity did your child enjoy the most?

Slide into Fun at Fantastic Water World

It’s a holiday and the heat is scorching! Luckily, we found a gem, so myself and my family decided to check out the Fantastic Water World in Phnom Penh.

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World looks like a miniature castle. It features a bumpy giant slide, spiral inner-tube rides, two giant-mechanical water buckets, slow-moving moat, climbing forts, slides for little ones and many more. There is also a café, children’s playroom, gym, change rooms, shops and seating areas inside the main building.

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

It is located inside Grand Phnom Penh International City, northern end of Hanoi Street. We went there by a tuktuk, and it took us about 40 minutes (from BKK 3, Phnom Penh ) to get there. We paid $20 for the round trip plus the waiting time.

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

The place is very nice. It was not crowded even though it was holiday. Everybody – children and adult alike were just having fun like small little kids. My boys splashed their hearts out as they took the slide of their life on the winding inner tubes rides. Plus, we’ve got some tan lines and we were able to watch the beautiful sun going down the horizon while we were having fun in the water. Overall, we all had a good, fun time and it was a great family day!

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Certainly, Fantastic Water World is a good place for families with children and makes a great day out when you are looking to cool down! Grab your families and friends now and be ready to slide, splash and smile at Fantastic Water World!

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is open from 9AM to 6PM.
  • The entrance fee is reasonable, $4 per person.
  • The locker costs 1 coin (1,000 Riel or $0.25).
  • No food and drinks allowed inside.

KL Bird Park: A Paradise for Bird Lovers

While we were in Kuala Lumpur, we spent a whopping 4 hours at KL Bird Park, which is known to be the largest free-flight walk-in aviary in the world. It is situated about 10 minutes away from the city center, within the peaceful and picturesque Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park is a beautifully laid-out park, well-kept and perfect for a stroll. It is divided into 4 zones: Zone 1 – The Parrots (Love Aviary), Zone 2 – The Storks and Egrets (Free-Flight Aviary), Zone 3 – The Hornbills Park (Oriental Bird Aviary), and Zone 4 – The Peafowls (Waterfall Aviary). It houses over 3,000 birds of various species from across the globe in the 21 acres of lush vegetation with natural streams, ponds, waterfalls, and a beautiful landscape. Most of the birds are free to roam around and gives good opportunity for photography.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

While we were leisurely walking in the park, we saw lots of peacocks scattered everywhere. It was my first time interacting with so many of them. They were friendly. It was quite interesting and enjoyable to be so near with lots of peacocks.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

Along the way, we also encountered other birds – doves, Victoria Crowned Pigeons, and some white birds roaming freely at the park. We were also fascinated to see some birds in cages such as parrots, eagles and even cassowaries (birds that look like a real dinosaur).

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

Certainly, birds are bestowed with untold beauty. I loved it there! We had plenty of opportunities to get close up photos shoots and have personal encounters with lots of birds. It looks like the birds are so accustomed to people that some of them have learnt to interact with you, walk with you, pose for you,  expect to be fed by you, peck at you, show off to you,  and demurely tweet at you.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

If you like birds, this is the place to go and it is well worth a visit!

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is open from 9AM to 6PM daily, including holidays.
  • The entrance fee is quite high (RM55), but if you love birds, it’s worth a visit. You can pay with credit card.
  • Bring sunscreen and a bottle of water.
  • The ostriches are fed daily. The bird food costs RM2 at the parrot area.
  • The bird show (mostly parrots and macaws) is at 12pm daily.
  • It is hard to access if you are disabled.
  • There are some indoor education building where you can learn more about birds

Have you been to the KL Bird Park? What did you like best there?

Relax by the rooftop Jacuzzi at Skyard in Balconitel Hotel

Sunday was finally there, and I was ready to enjoy time off with my loves – sipping cocktail while watching the stunning sunset in the breathtaking skyline view from the rooftop Jacuzzi in Skyard.

stunning sunset

Skyard Lounge

Skyard Lounge

Balconitel Hotel

Skyard is a hidden paradise and a little oasis in the chaotic city of Phnom Penh. As we entered the lobby of the hotel we were greeted by a beautiful tropical garden and a very welcoming atmosphere.

Skyard Lounge

at the lobby

Balconitel Hotel

We went there at around 5.30pm, just in time to watch the amazing sunset. When we arrived there were 2 couples, but after fifteen minutes we got the roof terrace all to ourselves, which was very lucky and nice.

Skyard Lounge

Skyard Lounge

We ordered our cocktails and got another glass for free. It was indeed a happy hour.

Skyard Lounge

Skyard Lounge

We had a very relaxing afternoon there. It was not crowded. Great service and good food. The staff was friendly and helpful. They welcomed us warmly and they were always smiling. Absolutely beautiful!

Skyard Lounge

Skyard Lounge

To me, the Skyard Lounge was a great place where to escape the city heat. If you are in Phnom Penh and if you love relaxing on a rooftop lounge, then Skyard is for you.

Skyard Lounge

Have you been to the Skyard? What did you like best there? What do you like about relaxing on the rooftop terrace?

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is located on Street 278, BKK1, behind Lucky Supermarket.
  • For a non-guest in the hotel, you’ll pay a very reasonable price for the use of the rooftop Jacuzzi if you do not want to order something. If you order food and drinks for $10 or more the use of rooftop Jacuzzi is free. If you are a guest in their hotel, the use of swimming pool and Jacuzzi is free.
  • The Skyard Lounge serves meals and cocktails until 11pm.