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Tag: holiday (page 1 of 5)

Strollering to a win!

Our first mom and daughter race together this past weekend at the Garmin Malaysia for Runners Penang 7km race ended up to be a surprise win! Okay, so it was only a fun run, but people were actually racing it as there were trophies for the top 10.

With a race start at 6.30am in the Unesco World Heritage area of Georgetown, I snuck out of bed at about 5.30 to get ready and then dragged a very sleepy toddler out of bed at 6.10am to jog about 1km to the start line. Little M fell asleep again on the way there but the dance music blasting pre-flag off woke her up again. She was in a daze (see photo below) while people stared at my unusual choice of racing gear (i.e. resistance in the form of a baby in a stroller).

I stood in the middle of the field behind the start line because I thought I would be slow and shouldn’t hold up the faster runners. But as soon as the gun went I found myself snaking past slow joggers and catching up one by one with the race leaders. Everyone gave me a double take as I ran passed them and some even tried to speed up to keep pace with me. 

Eventually at around the 3km mark I caught up with the lead runner who had a mountain biker (official race escort) riding alongside her. As soon as I passed this runner the biker started following me instead and so I knew I was in the lead. Up to this point I wasn’t pushing the pace but now in the lead, I thought, what the heck I should just try to win this thing!!

So we didn’t look back and little M and I snagged our first victory together! As you can tell from the photos I am not using a running stroller – it’s actually a travel stroller, the McLaren Mark II, one of the world’s lightest (and therefore not built ergonomically for running with). I wonder how fast I can actually go with one of those fancy running strollers..

Angkor Wat Half and Siem Reap break

For a few years, a friend and I had a running joke. “Have you been to Cambodia?” we’d ask each other now and then, in spite of knowing the answer. Well, I finally made it there with little M last weekend, with a little race – the Angkor Wat Half-marathon – thrown in. It was such a splendid break in beautiful weather that we were not looking forward to going home.

After six weeks of being a full-time single mom with a full-time job and doing only stroller runs with little M or slow hikes with her on my back, I wasn’t expecting to do well at the race. And so it was: a relatively slow time for ninth woman overall. Quite a lot slower than my sub-1.38 effort in August at the Lululemon Seawheeze half in Vancouver. Still, extremely blessed to have the opportunity to race, thanks to good mates from Singapore who met us in Siem Reap and helped babysit little M while I was running.

Our trip…

Stayed: Sojourn Boutique Villas in Treak Village, about 10 minutes to downtown by car. Only eight villas and two rooms in the entire property, surrounding a lovely little pool. Awesome breakfast selection of both western and Asian cuisines. Great spa. Only downside is it’s not walking distance to downtown.

Saw: Temples (Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm (aka Tomb Raider temple), Bayon, Banteay Srei (aka Lady Temple)); Kampong Phluk Floating Village and mangrove paddle tour along Tonle Sap; Phnom Kulen National Park (big waterfall, 1,000 lingas, reclining Buddha).

Ate: Too much good food.
* Random restaurant opposite entrance to Angkor Wat. Excellent fish amok.
* Khmer Kitchen Restaurant, Street 11 (near Pub Street). Cheap and chirpy, vast menu.
* La Kh’mere Poulart, 89 Salakamreuk Wat Damnack (Next to Rum Georges). Started in 2014 by a Frenchman married to a Cambodian lady, set in a traditional Cambodian house in a quiet neighbourhood (they live there too). Both are chefs and so menu offers both French and Cambodian food. Awesome.
* Rohatt Cafe, King’s Road Angkor, Water Wheel Near PsaChas. Breakfast, lunch and dinner place set next to the lake. Tranquil. Local crowd, a total contrast from Pub Street. Wonderful. Our post-race refuel was coffee, pastries, sandwiches, eggs and pancakes – but the menu is actually mainly Cambodian food.
* The Hive Siem Reap, 631 Psar Kandal Street, behind Riviera Hotel. We wanted to try almost everything here – all-day breakfast, sandwiches and salads, and awesome coffee and juices. Situated in Kandal Village, a little enclave of artsy and hip shops.
* Gelato Lab, Alley West (near Khmer Kitchen). Died and went to gelato heaven. Eighty per cent dark chocolate ice cream… o. m. g. More more more please.
* The Touich Restaurant, No: 0152, Trang Village, Sangkat Slor Kram, behind Wat Enkosei (Wat leu). Recommended by the chef from La Kh’mere Poulart as his favourite Cambodian food spot. We were not disappointed. Set in a traditional Cambodian house, the menu offers Cambodian family favourites like amok and curry, as well as grilled items like beef and snapper. Reservation required.

Our wheels: We had a driver for the entire trip, at a base rate of US$30 a day within the radius of Angkor Wat. Mr Lim Hav not only does airport pick-up and drop-off, but will also show you the best bits of the city. Witty, patient man with lots of interesting tales to tell. Speaks good English. Little M loved him! Highly recommended (beats any dusty tuk tuk ride). Call (855) 012 285 739.

Need to know: credit cards aren’t accepted at most places so remember to take lots of US dollars with you (though there are plenty of ATMs downtown and you’ll be able to get your cash there easily too).

Tai O staycation

Stayed: Tai O Heritage Hotel, which is the former Tai O Police Station. We were given the room that was once the officers’ canteen. Breakfast was included – an American affair (Kellogg’s cereal, fresh cut fruit, eggs and processed meats, and horrible toast) at the Tai O Lookout restaurant. Nice ambience, crap food.

Did: Walked lots. Around Ngong Ping and hiked the Wisdom Path and Lantau Peak. And another hike to the Tai O “Infinity Pool”.

Ate: Lots. Highlights include a seafood meal at Good View Restaurant and a simple but scrumptious lunch of Tai O shrimp paste fried rice at Tai O Village Restaurant. And addictive melt-in-the-mouth almond cookies from 大澳鳳城手信 (plain, with black sesame, or chopped almond pieces were delicious; with salted egg, not for me).

Saigon sojourn

Bis bald


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