All posts filed under: Reviews

Chasin’ Cravings’ recommendations to fulfill your cravings. Follow your tummy…

Luang Say Lodge: Pakbeng, Laos

When we pulled up to the resort on the Mekong River, we were amazed at how beautiful it looked from this viewpoint.  You could see the individual bungalows lined up with great views of the river below.  The trek up to the hotel was a little far, but nothing unbearable.  The hotel has a porter service that will carry your baggage up to your bungalow for you.  However, they ask for you to pack an overnight bag for the one night stay rather than taking all of your belongings with you up to the hotel.  They store your luggage locked on the boat so there is no need to worry about leaving stuff behind.  Once you reach the top of the stairs, you arrive at the deck overlooking the river.  We were welcomed with cool towels, which were much needed, and a welcome drink of cold lemongrass tea. We were assigned to bungalow 18, which was a little walk from the main lodge and restaurant.  The bungalows were fairly hot when we arrived.  Most people …

Thip Samai Noodles: The Motherload of Pad Thai in Bangkok

After our disappointing encounter with pad Thai on Koh San road, we were on a mission for the best pad Thai we could get our hands on in Bangkok before our night bus to Chiang Mai. Even if this meant spending a bit more than the $0.80 on the street!  After some research and guidance from our friends Kate and Palis, we were led to Thip Samai Noodles. We grabbed an uber and arrived around 4:55pm. Palis had called in advance and confirmed that they open at 5pm. We thought, *perfect! we will be the first ones there and be in and out in time to make the train!*. Well…we were almost completely wrong!  The line was super long when we got there. They opened the restaurant up around 5:05pm and tables started filling up. As we got closer to the entrance, it began to look very crowded inside the restaurant. When there was one couple in front of us, they stopped seating people. All of the tables were filled and that was it. We stood in line unsure if we …

Off the Beaten Path: An Unforgettable Birthday in Siem Reap, Cambodia

The day started out with a Happy Birthday FaceTime call from Jess’s family back home.  I told them about the day that Steven had planned for me and we were so excited.  About 20 minutes later, there was a knock on the door; our breakfast was here! We enjoyed breakfast in bed (included with our room) at The Sarai Resort and Spa; it was more like a feast.  Jess had the traditional Cambodian soup with rice noodles bok choi and bean sprouts as well as home made yoghurt with muesli and fresh papaya, jackfruit, passionfruit, and pineapple.  Steven had plain congee, which is similar to porridge, but made with rice that is cooked in water for many hours or overnight.  This was accompanied by smoked fish and a salted duck egg.  We shared some buttermilk pancakes, but they were nothing like Jeffrey’s pancakes that Jess was craving.  They accidentally also brought us vegetable fried rice, which we hadn’t ordered, but we definitely enjoyed anyway.  Breakfast was also served with a piece of toast, a croissant …

nOmPANG! for Lunch in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

After much research about where to go for lunch, Steven, Gillian, Gavin and I decided to try a place called nOmPANG!  We showed Sony, our tuk tuk driver, where to go on a map and we were on our way. We had chosen this place because it had some good reviews online and had been written up by a few other travelers.  We just knew that they made great sandwiches and you could chose from a bunch of options inside.  When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by the decor and cleanliness of the restaurant. You can chose to take out or stay to eat at the small tables in the front.  The place seats about 18 people.  We went up to the counter to order and we chose the special with deli meats, pate, pork, and fried egg.  The sandwich is also stuffed with fresh herbs and veggies and seasoned with some house sauces.   We also ordered the sandwich with beef, which did not have a fried egg, but it did have the …

The Popular Residence: Siem Reap, Cambodia

When we arrived and de-bussed in Siem Reap, we were greeted with a sign reading JESSICA SINGER by a tuk tuk driver sent by The Popular Residence.  This was a complimentary transfer from the hotel.  The location is a good 15 minute tuk tuk ride from the bus stop and about 10 minutes from town.  We were greeted with a welcome drink that was super refreshing and cold towels to clean our hands and face.  After resting for a bit and enjoying the beautiful open lobby, we were shown to our room. The room was decorated very simply and was extremely clean.  Everything seemed very new as if they had just done a full renovation.  We had a king size bed, a twin size day bed by the window, a balcony, and a rain shower and bathtub. The balcony looked out into the courtyard, which had a pool and lounge chairs.  There was also an open air lounge area that looked out to the pool on the ground floor.  We only spent one night here …

The Kabiki: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

When we arrived in Phnom Penh it was pretty dark out and the staff from Giant Ibis helped us get a tuk tuk to The Kabiki.  I’m pretty sure they overcharged us since the tuk tuks are only meant to cost $1-$3, but we were told $5 for this ride.  We reluctantly agreed as it was getting late and we just wanted to get to our hotel.  We later found out that it definitely should have only been $2.  We hopped in with our luggage and were driven to a street that seemed to be closed down to any traffic with a gate and guards.  The driver said we are here, but when I looked at the map, we were still about half a block away from the hotel down the street.  We were a bit confused, but when he pointed and said hotel we realized that the street was open to foot traffic and we would be able to walk down to the hotel.  I was a little nervous, as it was very dark …

The Pullman Da Nang Beach Resort: Vietnam

We arrived at the Pullman Da Nang Beach Resort around 9:30am.  Check in time is usually later in the day, around 2:00pm, however we were greeted and informed that our room would be ready within 30 minutes.  At this point we were able to fully take in the vastness and beauty of the resort.  The lobby was open air and had a 50 foot ceiling, with a beautiful chandelier in the center.  The back of the lobby looked out to the two infinity fountains decorated with large wire dragonflies.  The architecture and artwork complimented the atmosphere of the hotel very well.  Beyond the fountains was a large infinity pool and then the beautiful private beach.  We relaxed in the lobby until our room was ready, with our refreshing welcome drink of blended tea in hand.  We took in the view and were truly blown away by the beauty of it all.   We stayed in a double superior room with a view of the property and the ocean.  The room was amazing and had tile floors, a …

Breakfasts, Cooking Class and Poolside Cocktails at Almanity Hoi An Resort and Spa

At the Almanity Hoi An Resort and Spa, a buffet style breakfast was included in our stay. The spread at breakfast had a wide range of both local vietnamese and western style breakfast choices. For the buffet, there were fresh fruits, breakfast pastries, smoothies, fresh yogurt, cereals, and prepared salads. We both ate our fair share of many of the buffet choices and thoroughly enjoyed all that we ate. In addition to the buffet style selections, there are three stations where food is prepared to order. The first station served two different dishes that are typical of vietnamese breakfasts. The options varied and ours were beef or pork pho and cao lầu. Cao lầu is a noodle dish with pork and green vegetables and can only be found in the town of Hoi An. Its exclusivity to Hoi An is a result of the century old square wells from which water is drawn to make the noodles for cao lầu. There was also a fried rice dish and chicken congee. We had originally planned to share a beef pho on …

Our Stay at The Almanity Resort and Spa

Our experience at the Almanity Hoi An Resort and Spa was far beyond our expectations. The hotel is located about ten minutes away from the old town if walking, and free bicycle rentals are available to hotel guests.  We opted out of bike rentals as we were a bit nervous with the traffic in Hoi An, but if you are feeling brave go for it! When we arrived at Almanity we were greeted by a warm and welcoming staff.  While checking in, we were offered delicious welcome drinks. When the drinks were initially set in front of us they were blue, but after the staff added another component to the drink they turned pink! We were advised that our room was ready and that we would be staying in a Double My Mind Town View Room.  This room had a king sized bed, shower, air conditioning, TV, and a balcony overlooking the streets of Hoi An.  It was very clean and comfortable. In addition to our room, our package included one spa journey per person per day at …

From Hanoi: The Capital of Vietnam to Hoi An: Tailor Shops by Day, City of Lanterns by Night

Our last day in Hanoi was really just the morning, which we decided to spend enjoying what the hotel restaurant had to offer as we had breakfast included with our room.  We stayed at La Siesta Hotel Trendy, the new sister hotel to La Siesta Hanoi Resort and Spa.  The restaurant in the hotel is the Red Bean Restaurant and has been rated as one of the top five restaurants in Hanoi. The included breakfast spread was a mix between a western style breakfast and a Vietnamese style breakfast, though other items could be ordered off the menu. Fresh fruit, home made yogurt, and an order of beef Pho made for for a great start to the day. We finished breakfast with a vietnamese egg coffee and a vietnamese coffee, checked out and ordered an uber. They also offer cooking classes, but we did not have time to take advantage of this amazing opportunity. We highly recommend staying at this brand new hotel!  The service was impeccable and they made sure everything was perfect from …